The Destabilisation of Perception
Post Abstract Painting in the Digital Realm

Today in the electronic age of instantaneous communications, I believe that our survival, and at the very least our comfort and happiness, is predicated on understanding the nature of our new environment, because unlike previous environmental changes, the electric media constitute a total and near instantaneous transformation of culture,
values and attitudes.
This upheaval generates great pain and identity loss, which can be ameliorated only through a consciousness of its dynamics. If we understand the revolutionary transformations caused by new media, we can anticipate and control them; but if we continue in our self-induced subliminal trance, we will be their slaves.
Marshal McLuhan 1974

Using digital media creatively is the paradigm of being master of technology, not slave to it and if contemporary reality is sufficiently complex to sustain prolific modes and styles of image making, it is not whether the process is abstraction, conceptual, representational or scientific; but how successfully it engages the spectator whose main source of cultural information is received via today's ubiquitous Digital Mass Media

By claiming to paint using New Media, one still threatens to destabilise the conditioned response to what painting is.

Abstraction: ‘The only place where visual form can disrupt a linguistic system.’*
Perception: ‘All pictures are a dialectic between the surface of the image and the depth perceived within them.’‡
This show of Post Abstract works provided a unique opportunity for the spectator to reconsider its conditioned response, and ask him or herself: what painting meant to them?

1 Paint /peint/noun. ME (from the verb)
A substance consisting of a solid colouring matter dissolved in a liquid vehicle as water, oil, etc.,
which when spread over a surface, dries to leave a thin decorative or protective coating.
(Shorter Oxford English Dictionary)

2 Perception /n/noun. LME
The action of the mind by which it refers its sensations to an external object as its cause
(Shorter Oxford English Dictionary)

3 Abstract
Separated from matter, practice, or particular examples; not concrete; ideal; abstruse. (Late Middle English).
Free from representational qualities. That which is abstract; the ideal or theoretical way of regarding things.
Separate in mental conception; consider abstractly.
(Shorter Oxford English Dictionary)

* The American artist Linda Besemer  (The 2000 Whitney Biennial Exhibition Catalogue)
‡ The American artist photographer Jeff Wall  (Film documentary)

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