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2018 Annual Conference


March 01-04, 2018

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2018 SPE Annual Conference: Uncertain Times: Borders, Refuge, Community, Nationhood / Hosted by The University of the Arts

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William Douglas

SPE Member since 2011
Member Chapter: Southeast

even a hawk is an eagle amongst crows

Like a path once cut into the jungle that has since overgrown, my work references a pathway of seeing that has been obscured. I am drawn towards making images that seem familiar or that reference every other image that has been taken of a particular subject, but through my own subjective lens I hope to render the familiar strange again. I want my images to evoke the sense that you have seen them before but somehow everything has changed; like seeing an ex-lover from whom you have moved on. Photographs are often shown in concert with each other, the intersection between images generate a mysterious and unspecific narrative that speaks of what is not pictured as much as what is; an image of the stars made by looking at the ground, a reflection obscuring a models face, color produced by a misfire in a camera bag, the quotidian window between us and the world. Each is an image to be seen that points its gaze at what can not be seen. I can’t help but watch people be overwhelmed with images, I have the privilege to see and to use this primary sense to my advantage to contribute to a better way of seeing. Recently I’ve been considering the vertical frame of the cell phone as an important place in which we make and consume imagery. We use this device to communicate and receive information constantly. This particular object that started as a device that primarily shared text has now evolved into a place of photographic communication (it could be argued that this is the primary way in which we use our phones today.) This influence helps me facilitate the production of photographs, sculptural work, and to create titles that become lines to construct a narrative that is not always direct but has a sense of familiarity. It is the combination of objects and images in concert with one another and with the title that generate both conceptual and visual weight in the final presentation. In addition to the generation of images my hunting is supplemented through the addition of objects collected from traveling. These objects stand in as a relic or artifact of a time and place where a photograph is usually conceived. The idea of watching and picking up pieces of the work to formulate concept and meaning in a familiar register have become more important. No object or photograph is discrete. I place original and appropriated photographic prints alongside objects and through arrangement or curation attempt to generate a relationship to one another in order to create a visual dialogue. I value the photograph as a print; its physical existence and the quality of the chosen paper for each individual image is always intentional. This curation of my own photos alongside found photos and objects ask the viewer to consider the photograph as an object, not a window, to quote Geoffrey Batchen “tension is proposed between the photograph’s function as a transparent window onto another world and its opacity as an object sitting before us in the here-and- now. The presumed difference between the taking and making of photographs is also carefully mired when we are asked to look at a photograph, rather than through it.”

the idea of space

the storm above his house



the matterhorn: venice

los angeles

st petersburg


the painting your mother used to dream about

us_mexico (border)

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