Technological evolution shifts us from the analog to the digital at an ever-increasing rate, and nowhere is that more evident than in the worlds of photography and cinema. High-definition digital cameras have replaced film cameras, ensuring image quality and resolution that was unimaginable a few years earlier. However, a major byproduct of the increasing speed of technological evolution is nostalgia for past aesthetics. The contemporary resurgence of enthusiasm for Lomography is but one example. Instagram’s emulation of Polaroids is another.
Kon Trubkovich and Regina Parra revisit the dusty, blurry aesthetic of old film by using watercolor painting to render low-resolution video images. For their series Mise-en-scène, Parra picked security camera recordings of scenes of a young woman with long, blonde hair involved in daily-life situations—withdrawing money from an ATM, getting out of a car in a parking lot, or waiting to cross the street—and rendered them as the cloudy, glitchy images you see here. The end product is an augmentation of the same story. Far from the mundane motions of a daily routine, the subject seems spooked as though the fuzziness of the images actually permeates her view of the world.
Trubkovich painted frames he chose from VHS tapes and retained the media’s distinctive flaws. The distortions produced with watercolor painting result in some kind of artisanal Glitch Art.
Like Trubkovich, Andy Denzler creates interferences that look like VHS tape defects, but he does so with oil paints, resulting in brushstrokes that are usually more evident than Parra’s and Trubkovich’s. Denzler shoots his own videos and then renders copies of the images via smears of paint.
All of these works appear photographic at first glance – but the paint textures expose minute details and reveal the unique ways in which these images were produced. Much like low-fi instant images, these paintings retain peculiarities that are not seen through the naked eye.