“When you hear a music after it’s over, it’s gone in the air.
You can never capture it again”.
The term “Low fi” refers to sound and music recording methods and it literally means low fidelity. I’ve made use of it while recalling images. Personally I think, it is a kind of aesthetics which intentionally, with all its expressiveness, absorbs mistakes, noises, distortions.
The moment of making a photography of an image from television, for me, is a moment when its content is entering the past. Low-fi is a method of reconstruction of this particular image, an attempt to “fan the spark of hope in the past” ( Walter Benjamin )
Low – fi can also be read as a counter-proposal to a tv-image which seems polished and cleaned ( high-fi ), ready-made for the viewer, thus, lacking an element of surprise or coincidence. This image then, has much more limited possibilities to be broadcast, by its nature, contradicts reality, which is much more chaotic.
The traditional television, when comapred to other media, presents itself as the least democratic: it doesn’t recquire much involvement and decision making on the part of a viewer, yet still, it creates an intense and sensational reception. It may remind one of walking the streets of a modern city (metropolis) at an accelerated pace where most information that you come across are billboards and adverts, the lights, colours, reflections…Tv transmissions make the viewer get the satisfaction from constant transformations of vision and meaning which becoming reality multiplied to the limits of abstraction.
In art, I’m not focused on its dogmatic values – more than this, I prefer a detail, a fragment which at a certain point constructs the whole and allows me to draw wider conclusions. I preserve an image from television, and afterwards I look at it, a bit like from the point of view of a tourist who already returned from holidays ,and is dealing with photos. A drawing is an artistic commentary, it is a trace i’m leaving behind – an image was recorded and interpreted – and by this kind of interference it will probably mean something.
It could’ve been that I have stolen them and reused them in my own particular way. My method is cut and paste, popular in music or poetry.
Our memory works according to low-fi principles, it absobs many contradictory issues and images which at first glace seem meaningless; memory fades with time…. Some of the works, I’ve blown them up by digital means and put them in frames – I use this formula to underline a subjectively chosen episode from the televisual past. It is at the same time the next stage of my “investigation”, a closer look and reinterpretation of what i’ve already photogrphed.
I used to make many pictures featuring objects from my room…of everyday use, furniture… I wanted to orientate myself, to look for values among the things which are the closest to me. Just like a table, chair or bed, tv set belongs to a standard set of home accessories, it is some furniture, I’m looking at it, and im looking what is inside, information-images are for me like old clothes taken out from a wardrobe, i’m trying to organize them in a new way.
Once, an Austrian artist Hundertwasser created a spiral concept of five skins of man – these were: skin, clothes, house, social surrounding, earth. Those five layers were supposed to function as an osmosis, penetrating, one by one, different states of consciousness. I think that, and it goes without saying, the sixth one-the media – should be added.
No matter how one judges this phenomenon, television definitely constitues a part of our surrounding. If one wants to interfere with the way it functions, tends to change the reality itself. It’s up to imagination to spot the potential of the message behind, to get back those episodes-images from the past and put them in some meaningful position. The point is that the output, a new arrangement differs from its primary meaning, catches sight of something previously missed or recognizes new values. I’m not in favour of a linear, textbook-like history, what matters is that images I reconstruct are vivid and free from stereotypes or versions offered by the so called officials channels.
Low-fi is an attempt to take up an attitude towards past free from any kind of automaticity, it is as if working on a living tissue of history, since as Tadeusz Kantor once said” Past is the only capital we have”.