Post digital revolution, the photograph is ubiquitous. The old adage 'a picture is worth a thousand words' has been adopted en-masse; the throwaway digital image is used as a tool to describe and perform everyday experience, emotion and sense of place. We are a culture of illustrated storytellers.
A few choice words – or emoticons – may accompany the presentation of our images online, attempting consciously, or subconsciously, to reinforce or disrupt the reading of our chosen time-clip. We have created an arena in which we are engaged in a semiotic game of sending and receiving, encoding and decoding on a daily basis. Judgement on the aesthetic, social or entertainment value of our images is instantaneous.
The screen is generally accepted as a transmitter of information; a conduit – and beyond issues with quality/brightness/resolution – it's material properties play little role in our interpretation of the latest sunset, first snow or first child it presents us with. The electric light that forms images on our phone or computer monitor is only nanoseconds old. In contemplation of this transient configuration, how to we begin to consider that the sunlight that formed the image we see on screen has travelled approximately 8 minutes from the surface of the sun to illuminate the objects depicted? That the photons that made up that light were formed inside the sun's core tens of thousands of years ago? Or that the lens that took the photograph only managed to pick up a fraction of the photons that were there to be captured due to the size of its sensor, its limited aperture range and shutter speed? That the author decided the photons weren’t warm, cold, romantic or austere enough so digitally manipulated them with the aid of filters? Or even that for us to receive the light presented to us, there has been a process of translation from one kind of light to another. There is an incomprehensible amount of history embedded in the material manifestation of every digital photograph the retina fleetingly receives.
Leanne Bell Gonczarow highlights this process of material manifestation through the production of installations, books and video animations. The fundamental stuff of photography - light - is subject and material in works that aim to provoke a prolonged contemplation of their origin and presentation. Narratives both personal and universal are suggested by the context in which the light is captured and re-presented.
Leanne Bell Gonczarow is currently engaged in writing a work of fiction that explores the role the photographic can play in life, love and the vastness of space.