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  1. 06 Nathan Alexander Ward

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Photography is both a medium and a subject in my work. Often, my projects begin as an encounter with photographs created by others, from a catalog of concrete blocks to space exploration archives. These encounters initiate a process of technical speculation and experimentation that results in new photographs of peculiar character that urge scrutiny of what is depicted in them but also the means of their depiction. Through continual analysis and improvisation, this generative process enables me to develop series that leverage the indeterminate nature of photographic images and to present psychologically charged experiences in the form of artist books and installations.

A Porous Order is a body of work that brings together several years of photographic experiments that were inspired by my discovery of a post on a consumer-oriented photography forum, wherein a conversation developed that aligned with long-standing philosophical dilemmas regarding the nature of the medium; in particular, discrepancies between human and camera vision and the limit to which appearances can be accurately duplicated. I was surprised by what was written in this thread because of its non-academic context and, intrigued by the idiosyncratic perspective, determined that it could prove valuable to my ongoing exploration of the dubious correspondence between photography and reality.

I used the various positions of the commenters in the thread as a loose framework for developing conceptual and formal strategies to be used in the creation of new photographs of my own. In addition to the original photographs in this project, I created an accompanying text, selected from the comments in the thread and fictionalized to varying degrees. The fragmentary language is a poetic parallel to the sequence of images which draws attention to the significant concepts of the work, as well as represent a kind of intrapersonal dialogue on those concepts. In doing this work, I hoped to gain further insight into the role of agency within the photographic process and to explore the ambiguities which can arise from photographic technologies.