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2019 — Present

With Sightseeing, I turned my attention to my own gaze by using eye-tracking software to track the movement of my eyes across different subjects. Many artists have described their works as existing only when they are seen and experienced by a viewer and here, I interpret this idea literally by creating a series of works through the simple act of looking.

Eye tracking is often used in scientific research, market research, gaming and product design to determine how and where viewers' attention is concentrated. I was interested in the philosophical implications of capturing a viewer’s gaze when looking at art and was initially drawn to the works of the American painter Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015). Kelly’s use of colour and deceptively simple shapes often belie their documentary origins and for many years, I’ve been fascinated by the painter’s ability to transform banal details of everyday life into bold abstractions.

I observed a found image of Kelly’s High Yellow (1960) painting for ten-seconds and encased a reproduction in laser cut cases, the image visible only through an aperture created by my gaze. In presenting the results, the overall gaze is divided into one-second slices of time. The resulting sequence of ten works is a temporal presentation of these accumulated observations, each one having its own unique abstract form as the original image is gradually revealed.

After High Yellow, the exercise was repeated with Blue and Orange (Bleu et Orange), 1964–65 and Red/Blue (Untitled), 1960.

Ellsworth Kelly lived in Paris as a young artist in the late 1940s and early 1950s, where he found inspiration in the city’s architecture and created some of his earliest abstract compositions. Influenced by the works of anonymous mediaeval craftsmen, he tried to eliminate the trace of his hand from his canvases to create hard-edged colour field paintings. I think of my use of digital eye-tracking software and laser cutting as an echo of Kelly’s method but made using contemporary tools and technology.

Lasercut acrylic cases / Archival pigment prints

Ellsworth Kelly’s High Yellow, 1960 [Ten Seconds]Eleven lasercut acrylic cases with archival pigment print mounted to Dibond
Each 50x70cm (19.7x27.6 inches)

Ellsworth Kelly's Blue and Orange (Bleu et Orange), 1964–65 [Six Seconds]Eight archival pigment prints with signed title page
59.4x42cm (23.4x16.5 inches)


Ellsworth Kelly’s Red/Blue (Untitled), 1960 [Six Seconds]Eleven lasercut acrylic cases with archival pigment print mounted to Dibond
Each 57x70cm (22.4x27.6 inches)

In 2019, I was approached by the New York Times Magazine to apply this method to other visual material and chose ancient marble statues of Venus. This combination of aesthetic, subject, and form results in the compression of a two-thousand year-old marble sculpture, an early 20th Century photograph, and 21st Century eye-tracking software into a single image.

Staring at Venus (2019)
Framed archival pigment print
70x100cm (27.6x39.4”)

Staring at the Torso of Venus (2019)Framed archival pigment print
40x50cm (15.7x19.7”)

Staring at Venus (2019)
Framed archival pigment print
50x70cm (19.7x27.6”)