Last month we ran a two week brief with the Illustration students at LCC which had a resulting exhibition. The students had to take an image through various different mediums, making sure that they passed through both analogue and digital processes. The idea was to portray the famous Marshall McLuhan quote, “the medium is the message.” All of the students responded well, however the work of Daniel Fletcher really stood out amongst the crowd. He answered the brief concisely and enthusiastically with a project titled EUPHROSYNE.
EUPHROSYNE BY DANIEL FLETCHER
Four Colour Screen Print, 900mm x 640mm accompanied by a 150 page book with Screen Printed Cover.
This print and the accompanying book are a personal exploration examining the role of video call platforms such as Skype in long distance relationships. A video call strives to mimic reality, attempting to bring people closer through it’s pairing of sound and vision. However being in front of a camera can feel like a performance, lived out via a screen, devoid of touch and physical interaction. Something that feels unnatural. Although providing a certain sense of closeness it can also enhance distance.
The way an image is gradually distorted and abstracted as it passes back and forth between different formats, being repeatedly re-recorded, can be likened to the breaking up of images transmitted through a video call. This gradual distortion of the image through varying processes reflects the fragmentation that is experienced when communicating via the Internet. Data is both lost but also gained and an image can change significantly from the reality, becoming pixelated and warped, losing the aura of the actual moment. Over a period of time original stills of video conversations were recorded as screen captures and on 35mm film. These initial images, candid in their nature, provided a frank and honest insight into a relationship spanning the distance of a country. This material was taken through a number of processes, crossing back and forth between analogue and digital, repeatedly being photographed, scanned, re-photographed and finally projected into a bedroom. A juxtaposition of the real and the virtual, these projections bring the images of the video call, into a place in which they would naturally exist if only the obstacle of distance wasn’t present.
With each step the images took on new qualities before finally being taken into print. Crucially the images were left unedited or manipulated, preserving the individual characteristics of each process.