Digital a new frontier
Local businesses are being invited to “art” their walls with works from the Collectif d’artistes de Glengarry Artists’ Collective ArtBank.
The works can be viewed on the cagacartbank.ca site.
In the coming weeks, The News will profile ArtBank artists based on information submitted by the collective.
This week, we introduce François Desjardins.
For François Desjardins, taking pictures with an old Kodak Box Brownie as a kid back in the ‘60s led to studying photography in the visual arts department at the University of Ottawa a decade later. A camera, in some form or another, became his prosthetic eye and the darkroom was where he developed ideas. From a few early gallery shows, he moved on to teaching photography at Algonquin College and visual arts in Education at the University of Ottawa, to completing a PhD studying how images can affect learning.
Now living by a lake just outside of Alexandria, it is a return to the pure joy of photography as well as to spending time reading and reflecting on the nature of this medium. Specifically, his intent is to better understand the dramatic digital revolution and its implications for this art form, as well as his own relationship with it.
The ubiquitous digital camera and the billions of photographs being uploaded to social media every minute suggest that everything and everyone on this planet have been photographed making the task of recording an “original” image nearly impossible.
After about five decades of practising photography as a means of carefully recording the visible with relative high fidelity, and now recognizing the problem of original perspective, François’ interest shifted towards an emerging practice of using digital photography as a plastic visual medium used to express rather than record. Combine this with recognition that “works of art” are more of a reflection of the artist’s vision than of the subject matter, and the idea of “layered perspectives” became a project.
This particular exploration is now in its second year, and the concept of layering a variety of photographic perspectives of a common subject in a singular frame is slowly moving towards simply treating and scaffolding unusual photographs of familiar visual elements into an arrangement until the resulting framed canvas itself becomes the subject. It’s less about what’s “in” the picture and more about the completed physical framed image itself and the reaction it might provoke in the viewer.
For this eternal student of the arts, contemporary photography is again breaking with tradition and the digital revolution is the new frontier to be explored.
LAYERED LENS: François Desjardins is an “eternal student of the arts” who experiments.