Alan Belcher’s Conceptual Take On The JPEG
Conceptual artist Alan Belcher explores an intersection between photography and sculpture, creating artworks he defines as ‘photo-objects’. His ‘_____.jpg’ study approaches the jpeg icon with a manner of directness and humour.
‘_____.jpg’ takes the universal jpeg icon and preserves it as a glazed ceramic object. Belcher challenges the ephemeral nature of the digital image format and questions its nature as an ‘icon’ in the most literal sense, removing the image from its original context and elevating it as a work of art in its own right. The installation shots from Belcher’s exhibition ‘Preview’ at Le Consortium assemble over one hundred ‘_____.jpg’ pieces in various layouts, causing a visual glitch between the gallery’s white wall and a folder of jpeg previews on a computer screen. By drawing from iconic imagery associated exclusively with the digital realm, Belcher asserts the possibility of a new kind of found imagery. Through this, he updates the previously existing ‘found object’ prototype and reminds us that the virtual is a part of our everyday reality.