Thomas Ruff´s JPEGS Series
In his Jpegs series, Ruff downloaded archived images as well as his own, mainly of untouched landscapes, war scenes or scenes depicting man´s atrocities. He would blow these images up, so that at a distance of 10-15 metres, these images appear as a photograph, but close up, they appear as thousands of pixelated squares, which ugly as these squares may seem, in the right context, can create a beautiful or disturbing image - like man´s impact on earth.
Colberg and Campany wrote differing reviews, although both acknowledged and appreciated the beauty of the JPEG images in Ruff´s book.
Colberg, in his Conscientious´review, is sceptical and appears to struggle in coming to some kind of understanding of the idea behind Ruff´s JPEGS work, but acknowledges that Ruff has tried to create some significance to the pixelation in an image and thus a new form of Art. He credits him for being avante garde. But Colberg feels it has no significance, except to state the obvious technical aspect of digital imaging, in other words, if an image is beautiful, it just is, but no more so by fomenting the idea that pixelation adds a new dimension and beauty to the way an image is seen.
Campany on the other hand, highlights in his ´Aesthetic of the Pixel´ review, how Ruff has brought awareness to the hugeness and importance of the archival grid. Because of the very nature and availability of digital images on the internet, whether originally analogue or digital, the sheer availability makes it easier for these images to be used individually, commercially or globally and when transformed by sheer manipulation, which Ruff has done, impacts us even more. Pixels and their sequencing create an image, which he sees as mirroring our world today:
. close up - abstract, but not random
. at a distance - an image.
However we view Ruff´s JPEGS series, it certainly makes us think - check it out¡¡¡¡