Trans-lucidities / By / Pierre Petiot

Trans-lucidities / By / Pierre Petiot

By an abuse of language where the Moon ends up passing for green cheese, we continue to speak of “collages” about the images that can be created with digital tools, whether they are free, such as the Gnu Image Manipulation Program. (GIMP) or proprietary like Photoshop. As for traditional collages, in addition to the digital tools making it possible to work cleanly and to avoid the use of scissors and glue and the always associated somewhat risky maneuvers, digital tools make it possible to adjust the size of the images intended for the composition of a collage and finely adapt them to the desired composition. Something that was certainly possible before digital tools, but required the use of somewhat rare and delicate tools.

By J Karl Bogartte

The introduction of transparencies in the collages was already possible through the use of gauze or semi-transparent paper and similarly it was possible to introduce perspective and even to mix both …

Free Your Mind By /Zazie

The spectator then has no other choice than to stop being a spectator and become the actor of his own vision because his mind is forced to constantly switch from one interpretation to another. What happens is logically comparable with a cubist painting where several points of view on the same object being presented and assembled on the same canvas, the visual system of the spectator is forced to oscillate between the different points of view.

But the comparison with the cubist vision ends with this purely logical aspect because the cubist approach remains purely geometric, that is to say, brutal and abrupt, while  on the contrary, the play of superimpositions and transparencies in a digital image is  continuous, and may even be qualified as fusional. Everything which, in the cubist approach, was of the order of a mental leap, on the contrary acquires the sweetness of a sliding in the digital image, so that the passage from one interpretation to another is done in an insidious way, almost stealthy.

This can be said to be a surrealist art, or perhaps even more properly an anti-realistic art, in the sense that it educates the spectator’s mind  to no longer see in an image what realism tells to see, but on the contrary to get into the habit of escaping of any realistic evidence, and to almost automatically seek in any image,  other visual solutions that the proposed one. Or, more exactly perhaps, to look for some ways out in any image which presents itself.

Matta

The spectator then has no other choice than to stop being a spectator and become the actor of his own vision because his mind is forced to constantly switch from one interpretation to another. What happens is logically comparable with a cubist painting where several points of view on the same object being presented and assembled on the same canvas, the visual system of the spectator is forced to oscillate between the different points of view. 

Ghadah Kamal

But the comparison with the cubist vision ends with this purely logical aspect because the cubist approach remains purely geometric, that is to say, brutal and abrupt, while  on the contrary, the play of superimpositions and transparencies in a digital image is  continuous, and may even be qualified as fusional. Everything which, in the cubist approach, was of the order of a mental leap, on the contrary acquires the sweetness of a sliding in the digital image, so that the passage from one interpretation to another is done in an insidious way, almost stealthy.

Matta

This can be said to be a surrealist art, or perhaps even more properly an anti-realistic art, in the sense that it educates the spectator’s mind  to no longer see in an image what realism tells to see, but on the contrary to get into the habit of escaping of any realistic evidence, and to almost automatically seek in any image,  other visual solutions that the proposed one. Or, more exactly perhaps, to look for some ways out in any image which presents itself. 

Zazie
Ghadah Kamal

A digital image becomes interesting when it does not provide any point of support to the viewer’s mind. We may remember that “Point d’Appui” (« Point d’appui » meaning both « point of support » and « no support ») is the title of a painting (see above) in which Matta intends to remind the viewer that human vision is a risk and a wandering, and that in an image worthy of interest, the mind desperately requires a point of support, which the author of the image puts on the contrary all his art to refuse him . This in order to force him to see. To see, beyond any evidence, that is to say, to see what is both there and not there.

We can use a play on words similar to that which shimmers in “point of support” with the expression “point of vanishing” which means at the same time, the point where the vision must be directed and the fact that, precisely, everything is built so that the vision cannot flee, nor escape this artifice of perspective, of which, as soon as it gets  caught up in the game, the vision becomes captive.

And I am introducing perspective issues here on purpose, since digital tools make it relatively easy to create perspectives from just about any snippet of an image. And we thus find another aspect of Matta’s thought as it appears in a whole series of images that he created in his early days, in which he does not offer the eye one vanishing point, but a multiplicity of vanishing points, among which the viewer’s mind is both compelled to choose and compelled not to.

But again, what Matta was forced to do with a bit of breaking in, a bit of a brutal and in open-ended way, the art of playing with layers and transparencies can achieve it in subtle and stealthy ways. The result is an apparent chaos in which it is at first impossible to recognize and see anything except by taking the time and making the effort to see. Except to setting ourselves into the work of seeing.

Ghadah Kamal

Contrary to a mode of vision where, since the invention of cinema, images pass in front of us, and impose their order on us, in this approach, we are the ones who must pass into the image to sow our own order in it.

Since these digital images are definitely not collages at all, but something else entirely, and something that has no name, how shall we call these images? With reference to their transparencies and the way in which they tend to revolutionize vision, to make our vision in some way more than lucid,  I propose to name them trans-lucidities.

Decembre 2021

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