The quality of photography that is most important to me in my work is its presumed ability to produce perfect copies of itself. The idea of the perfect copy supports our systems of technology and allows our cultural output to be distributed easily and instantaneously. In my work, my own text and images are combined with appropriated text and images. I use both digital and analog methods of photographic reproduction as well as appropriation to extract and re-contextualize elements of the original into new compositions to highlight alternative, latent meaning in the elements.
I use pages and text elements from paperback books because they are cheap, mass-produced objects meant to be efficient and transparent carriers. My purpose in using books, particularly those dealing with systems of knowledge or history, is to uncover the subtle ways in which their material components influence and shape the meaning of the ideas they are meant to carry. By incorporating flatbed scanning and digital reproduction, I look for the point at which these material characteristics begin to unravel and the devices begin to fail by deliberately misusing and stressing their limits. The visual evidence of this failed reproduction is raw material which I then recuperate, rework, and restructure. The results, like any system of language, are composites drawn from disparate and sometimes conflicting sources that create a unified whole.
The container of a message, its shape (whether it is a book, or a digital image), can broadly influence its meaning. My work consists of forcing anachronistic combinations, altering context, and introducing failures into the process of recording and duplication in order to expose unexpected or previously unnoticed qualities in my source materials.
Jeremy August Haik is an artist and writer living in Brooklyn. He holds an MFA in Photography, Video, and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts. He is a writer and editor at Conveyor Magazine and teaches photography and digital media at the School of Visual Arts and Hunter College in NY, and at Ramapo College in NJ. He has exhibited most recently at Cindy Rucker Gallery, New York; PCNW, Seattle; Michael Matthews Gallery, NY; Industry City, NY and WAH Center, NY. His work looks at the slippages and inconsistencies inherent in language and historical narrative through the combination of analog and digital practices.
Artist’s Website: haikstudio.com