Visual facticity and the technological gaze :
permanence, discreteness and comprehensiveness
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Seeing-machines have long been used to discover new things about ourselves. We fantasize about devices that will enhance our senses and provide us with 'facts' about our hidden aspects, such as our inner bodies, or our psychology. But these viewing machines tend to obscure just as much as they reveal. By focusing vision they also constrain it and lose the context of that which is viewed. The search for the factual is so pervasive in society that it tends to be taken for granted by the sheer commonality of it. This diffusion of seeing-machines (some mechanical, some text-based) seeking out facts has necessitated my thesis calling upon a range of examples of how we use artificial systems to observe: x-rays, digital libraries, psychological tests etc. This broad approach was taken to emphasize the enormous popularity of mechanistic ways of seeing the world. My art project is a visual critique of the 'visual facts' provided by seeing machines, with a particular emphasis on technology's view of the body. The longevity, objectivity and comprehensiveness of artificial views of the physical body and psychology are scrutinized in my work. My images are created with a body scanner that creates degraded 'digital casts' of a posed model. This 'digital cast' is then lit virtually in a computer program before being printed on translucent paper and finally backlit in a display case. The result is a collection of images that depict ambiguous bodies that vacillate between recalcitrant materials and digital fragmentation. These images are housed in light boxes that resemble computer monitors and x-ray displays as a means of eliciting the technological gaze's view of the body.