Try for the Kingdom, If I Can

mixed media installation, 2011
digital picture frames (3), LED light, magnify glass, computer codes printed on a stack of Xerox paper

In Try for the Kingdom, If I Can, a triptych of color photographs, each one symbolizing a choice at a challenging point in the artist’s career, was “glitched” by inserting the phrase “CJ Was Here” into the raw image source code. This process is similar to “tagging” in graffiti art, which could be regarded as vandalization and/or artistic expression. The image on the left shows a comfortable family room in sunny Florida; the image on the right is of a dark and gritty New York street scene; and the middle image was taken at the Eglise du Dome at the Hotel des Invalides, better known as Napoleon’s Tomb.

The ghostly effects that occurred were the result of human interventions and the forced integration of human language with digital image data. Conceptually, this installation reinforces the idea of “been there” on multiple levels. Firstly, the artist was physically there while taking the original photographs. Secondly, a significant turning point in the artist’s life is represented by the images. Lastly, the artist literally engraved his name in the data space originally intended to be read, interpreted, and manipulated only by computers.