Panel: The Big Bang of Electronic Art: Merging Abstraction and Representation in the Age of Digital Imaging
Photography, contrary to general belief, is in my opinion a superficial representation of the actual human experience of a particular moment, becoming even more superficial when considering a longer time span. In comparison to perceived reality, we experience photographic images as shocking and surreal. The power of photography as a medium, in fact, is derived from this distorted connection between reality and representation. Taking this disconnect between reality and photographic representation a few steps further into abstraction and/or manipulation of the image is a natural extension of the medium, considering that even in its purest forms, photography remains a dramatic abstraction of reality. I have been using digital media for creative photographic applications since 1993. Always interested in discovering new ways of exploring the expressionist possibilities of photography, by the 1990s I was already using alternative imaging, including printing and displaying techniques such as Polaroid image transferring, emulsion lifting, fax-prints, hand coloring paper negatives and shooting with homemade diffuse lenses. The new digital medium provided possibilities of full creativity and ways of integrating into the image further aspects of my personal human experience of the moment, but at the same time, the image was still a photograph with its strong ties with the real, physical world and a moment or moments which definitely happened in the past. Beginning with early black and white scanning, I have developed a mode of working that expanded my creativity. In much the same way that painters are free to explore the expressionist qualities of imagery, I found that through digital manipulations the same freedom from the constraints of viewer expectations of depicting reality.
- Orhan Cem Çetin was born in Istanbul. A self taught photographer, in 1988, his first solo exhibition entitled Familiaria , consisting of hand colored paper negative prints, attracted considerable attention with its alternative approach to photography. He has participated in numerous solo and group shows ever since, with recognition for his focus on a conceptual and interdisciplinary approach. In 2000, Çetin released a mini-album, Renk’arnasyon, and his book, Bedava Gergedan (Rhino for Free), a “black humor” collection of photography and literature was published in 2004. He recently completed a bilingual photo diary TutKeep , soon to be published as a book. Çetin is also a consultant on photography and photographic technology, and is a faculty member of Istanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Communication as head of the Photography and Video Program. He graduated from the Department of Psychology at Bogazici University, Istanbul and received his MFA degree in Visual Communication Design from Istanbul Bilgi University.
Full text (PDF) p. 389-391