This photobased series is informed by my line-dense ink drawing practice. In it I am drawing with my photographs. Fundamentally, I am asking, “Where is the boundary between what is a photo and a drawing in the digital world?” Using photo editing software I draw digitally using photos from my recent series of photographs of electrical power infrastructure. I slice the photos into motifs which become the ink and lead of my digital drawings, gridded networks of instruments I use for line and texture. In this series it is apparent that drawing is line and repetition, with compression and stretching, and nuances of shading. While the photo remains clearly the source of my practice.
A static form, the electrical power structure I’ve re-imagined as an active image. A girder becomes a dense sequence of lines as it’s stretched and compressed, shrunk, layered and laid upon itself. The placement of weak and strong points no longer makes sense. Repeating motifs pulse and carry the eye through the image. What were once dispersing lateral forces, now thrust downward, upward. Tension moves diagonally, sideways. An electrical structure originally engineered for stability and reliability is now a burst of kinetic lines, an image of syncopating and discordant patterns with compositional conflicts. The viewer is called to engage with these patterns and resolve the image.
We take for granted that electrical power infrastructures are unchanging. And in my source photos they appear as architectural icons. But fragmenting and drawing with these icons demonstrates that they are not immutable, finite symbols. What seems precious is malleable. Fragile. Changeable and dynamic.
This work suggests that an idea which seems locked in time can be altered. While the objects that symbolize those ideas may be fixed, the idea itself – like drawing – doesn’t have to be.