This composition was one of the last elements I made for “The Space That We [Keep] Between Ourselves”. It is composed of segments taken from other works within that installation. “Let the Bloodless” therefore pertains the most to this exhibition of any of the artworks displayed. It is a concentration of all the influences that informed its predecessors. That fact is made visually evident in its content and morphologically by its title. In fact, its moniker is a direct result of it being a descendent of those earlier pieces whose titles are also centered on the word “Blood”. This linage of work began with a photo/video-series of slime dyed with red food coloring. The intension with this initial project was to explore our complex relationship with blood and was inspired by advertising companies’ common practice of representing blood with blue dye. I decided to flat-footedly reverse the procedure to see what effect a mere color choice could have on something as innocuous as a pre-school receipt for slime. I hoped that it would allow for a renegotiation of our repugnance at the representation of a vital fluid. Those photographs were used to create the digital paintings, “Blood Letting” and “Red Blooded and Sugar Coated”. Since then, each piece that uses any of that original footage or takes from those compositions, is branded with some allusion to blood. This digital collage derives its name from its connection to those pieces, (the background features that original digital photograph) but also from the 3d-print, “Red 40 Blood Letting”. The connection to the 3d-print is twofold. Firstly, the original photograph used here as the background was incorporated in “Red 40 Blood Letting” as its surface layer. Secondly, the objects in foreground of this image are screenshots of “Red 40 Blood Letting” taken while it was being generated in a 3d-modeling software. Lastly the term “Bloodless” in this title, comes from the connection to the video “The Blood of the Bloodless”. A still from that video piece was used here as midground imagery. All in all, “Let the Bloodless” is a prime specimen of the motivations guiding my current mode of working and a potent example of the kind of effortless synthesis that happens within the digital sphere. This kind of seamless combining of disparate elements into a cohesive whole is what computers do best. Their abilities to endlessly clone and capture anything that’s converted into their binary language, made it possible to fluidly blend these components into cohesive entity.
And an entity is specifically what I wanted this piece to be. I have been generating these kinds of digital collages for some time. Still, the ease and enjoyment I experienced during their creation was undone by the trouble I had finding an appropriate vessel for them outside of the computer screen. Of course, the convenience of digital files means that I was able to print them on almost anything- this can be seen throughout the installation “The Space That We [Keep] Between Ourselves”. Yet I was still looking for a format that would allow the original composition to function more like it does during production. As is so often the case, the simplest solution was the most effective: mounting onto an acrylic block. The inch of plexiglass lends this work dimensionality and gravity. It evokes the plasticity and stability of a monitor. The thickness of the acrylic allows light to travel across and through it, somewhat like a screen. All these qualities take the best of the on-screen version of the collage and add the IRL (in real life) characteristics of sculpture. For this very reason “Let the Bloodless” again achieves something I have been continuously striving towards: giving weight and substance to digital expression.