Artist Talk: Mark Dustin on 'The Unstable Image'
Dustin’s new body of work engages primarily with the place of the image as central to an enforced shared experience of a wider perceived reality, and one that is fundamentally interconnected with the artificial.
Collectively these works can be seen as a digital navigation of a world dominated by the proliferation of images and attempt to exist as questions about why these images are made, who they are made for and why our individual perceptions of reality can be so fundamentally mediated by the screen.
Increasingly key elements of our daily lives are being bundled into readily consumed digital products and displayed to us via a screen that we carry with us at all times. As a result, there arises an increasing sense of conflict between the quick fix, instant access of the digital world, and the adversely slower, seemingly outdated processes of analogue technologies. It is this intersection between the digital and the analogue, between the photograph and the print, between reality and artifice, that Dustin finds his own space for investigation.
The methodology behind these works is one that is inherently tied in with process. Images are captured via digital means, usually using smart phones as a standard for readily available camera technology. These images are cut, cropped and manipulated digitally at the resolution that they were captured which consequently coerces the computer to ‘fill in the gaps’ as to where digital information breaks down in the enlargement process.
These digital images are then forced through outdated modes of commercial print technology, encountering another level of technical conflict between the digital and the analogue. Ultimately these images then embrace the handmade in the production of screenprints, which in the exposure of process, seek to destabilise the idealised, mass-produced image that directs us towards a subconscious disconnect from the authenticity of the image itself.
Dustin is the Head of the Drawing & Printmaking Department at the Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne. He holds a PhD in Fine Arts from the Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland. He has been a finalist in The New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Awards, Geelong Acquisitive Print Awards and The North Shore City Art Awards.