VIEWER FATIGUE



Recently, in a discussion about analog audio recording, someone mentioned the phenomenon of 'tape fatigue'. He described it as what happens when you re-record on tape again and again, and over time as the tape 'fatigues' unique audio remnants begin to appear, giving the recording a particular patina. This reminded me of my fondness for building up multiple layers, particularly when some layers end up completely obscured (as in this piece). I believe their presence carries meaning, adds character, even when concealed. I build up a composition out of bits and parts - layering, concealing and revealing until some other unexpected image begins to appear. My own version of 'tape fatigue' adds to the texture as I layer images of popular culture. When Googling 'tape fatigue' I came across a description of 'listener fatigue', which is a phenomenon that occurs after prolonged exposure to an auditory stimulus. Symptoms include tiredness, discomfort, pain, and loss of sensitivity. I believe the unprecedented barrage of visual stimuli we experience in modern western culture leads to a similar phenomenon, and contributes to an omnipresent low-level anxiety that permeates our culture. I call this 'viewer fatigue'. I documented the process of creating this image using time-lapse footage. I like the idea of the viewer discovering secret artifacts & images within the piece, and the time-based accompaniment to the artwork, along with the music, adds a new dimension. Here is the process video, with an original song by Avi Jacob called "To Be Alive". Avi was staying in my studio and writing this song while I was working on this artwork, and it seemed the perfect synchronicity. Ideally the viewer can watch this video while in front of the original artwork:

 
 
 

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