Hugh Scott-Douglas at Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery

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Artist: Hugh Scott-Douglas

Venue: Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, US

Date: October 9 – November 13, 2015

Photography: images copyright and courtesy of the artist, Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, Casey Kaplan, New York and Jessica Silverman Gallery

The University of the Arts’ Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition with Hugh Scott- Douglas.

For this exhibition, the artist resumes his reflection on our societal and economic state as contained by the all- encompassing consumerist networks of value, applying these multifaceted institutionalized systems to the function of the “image.” With six UV cured inkjet prints on dibond that correspond to a new venture in sound, Scott-Douglas analyzes the fundamentals of authorship, production and installation in consideration of an image’s use-value and the subsequent fluctuating relevance within our everyday.

Multi-disciplinary in practice, Scott-Douglas postulates the worth of an image as analogous to its objective, frequency, aesthetic and weight, the varying combinations of which command shifting connotations. Presented with analog’s conversion to the digital in mind, the artist repurposes a photographic image of disassembled automatic watch parts, produced by a modified scanner that employs an LED light rather than its originally manufactured lid. The image is printed upon itself, layered 16 times over, resulting in a patterned motif that repeats as the ink accrues upon itself and the graphic content becomes textured and transforms into material. At one point physically joined for the purpose of telling time, the fragments are now held together by the digital and the speed at which the image is reproduced endows the surface of the print with substance. In joining both innovative and mechanical modes of production, the artist is effectively engaging with our connection to imagery in today’s new media.

Building upon notions concerning the development of technological advancements within our consumerist society, beleaguered by the mass-digestion of manufactured goods, objects and images, Scott-Douglas incorporates billboards into his practice in an effort to comprehend the physicality of an image in contrast with its visual significance and function. Previously he has made works that highlight the image as its physical material, which consisted of the billboards as leftover scrap, rolled up in their shipping containers and packing material to be sent on a new life’s journey for alternate use values. Removed from their posts, their original purpose void, the prints are to be recycled as covers for farm crops, patches for damaged doors, or liners for pools and manmade ponds. Their value is no longer within the image itself, it is modified within the transfer from image to object and with it our perception of an image’s substance, or lack thereof, is also changed.

In this exhibition, an expedient and quantifiable value is imparted to the material bodies of the expired billboard images by placing the billboards on three industrial scales – one per week throughout the duration of the exhibition. Their weight is transmitted to three hacked consoles that transfer the information to a digital network designed by the artist. A microphone is then affixed to the computer’s hard drive, capturing and amplifying the sounds of the calculations that the computer discharges as it processes the information provided by the scales. This act of mechanized “thought” releases reverberations of bits and bites into the atmosphere of the gallery. The speed at which the hard drive copes with the incoming information is directly governed by the weight of the scales as the material load forces the system to compress and record the information at an augmented speed, therefore creating an increasingly aggressive rhythm.

As the sound waves appear to ebb and flow in communication with the cyclical pulsing of the UV prints’ repeated shapes and outlines, the viewer is provided the resources to experience the routinely subconscious in-flux of imagery at a gradual, almost meditative degree. Within a society driven by Capitalistic tendencies that can lead to an automatic but detached comprehension of consumerist inner-workings, Scott-Douglas taps into the materiality of image circulation by delivering a sensory encounter while simultaneously indexing and recording the changing relationship between image and value.

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Hugh Scott–Douglas, Untitled, 2015

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Hugh Scott–Douglas, Untitled, 2015

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Hugh Scott–Douglas, Untitled, 2015

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Hugh Scott–Douglas, Untitled, 2015

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Hugh Scott–Douglas, Untitled, 2015

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Hugh Scott–Douglas, Untitled, 2015 (detail)

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Hugh Scott–Douglas, Untitled, 2015 (detail)

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