In the infinite expanse of photographs there are those that wander in a state of somnambulism, speaking in tongues and mutating as they move ever further away from their points of origin. In order to awaken these images from their babbling slumber they must be rendered as contemplative objects.
This body of work consists of photographs appropriated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Stolen Art File – an online database of artworks reported as stolen. Some information regarding artist, title, period, medium, and measurements is given for most of the artworks listed. However, the photographic documentation for many of the artworks exhibit varying degrees of obfuscation and legibility due to a combination of technical errors and digital compression. A distorted photograph in the National Stolen Art File is often the only publicly available visual documentation for an artwork listed in the database, existing in a strange space between cultural artifact and abstract data.
I have printed the digital images taken from the database at the approximate size of the original artworks, acting as pixilated placeholders that give form to the digital mediation, circulation, and consumption of art. In these altered states the images embody the contradictions of representation and abstraction, presence and absence.