"Since Then" by J. Michael Simpson

Warehouse Gallery, October 26 – November 24

Process Statement

“Each work included in this exhibition whether made with paint, graphite, or video transcribes the hydrologic drama of moment of river turbulence. As a child I saw a newsreel movie about a mountain waterfall.  Ever since the rush of white-water rivers has fascinated me. As an artist I saw the downstream tumult as a metaphor the ephemeral flow life. To make this clear in my work I needed to see the surge and broil in detail.  However, as a subject for painting, rivers are problematic; they never stop moving. Taking close-up photographs of various river sites allowed me to see more clearly into the transient, intricate, and abstract patterns of river turbulence. But more, this stop-action technique raised the question of what was and what was within a moment of time.  Intrigued by the question and moved by the discovery of the powers of digital technology, my use of photography was replaced with digital video. With some video editing I could exponentially increase the number of images I could choose for a painting. They could be used in works as single images or sequentially ordered multiple images separated by fractions of a second. To identify and keep track of when and where I took the videos I incorporated the time stamps and GPS coordinates of each video.  Realizing that I was recording a moment on the river in two ways, one a pictorial abstraction the other numerical abstraction, the data was incorporated into the paintings and drawings of turbulence. The double reference calls for an examination of how we experience a moment in time in the digital age.”
– J. Michael Simpson


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Funding assistance provided by the Anderson County and City Accommodations Tax Fund and by the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.