• The Discrete Channel with Noise : Information Source #1
    The Discrete Channel with Noise : Information Source #1
The Discrete Channel with Noise : Information Source (2018)

The Discrete Channel with Noise, features photography, painting, machinery and projection. The works are set in our time, when the misinterpretation, mismanagement and misrepresentation of information - whether deliberate or accidental - has an ever-increasing and overwhelming effect on our everyday life. These failures of communication can lead to minor confusion, fantastic revelation or global outrage, depending when and where they occur.

“You photograph something then the photograph is split up in to millions of tiny pieces and they go whizzing through the air, then down to your TV set when they are all put together in the right order”
Mike Teavee, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl,1971.

Mike Teavee’s experience is one of the starting points for Clare Strand’s exhibition. The precocious character explains the process of transmitting a photograph (pre internet) . However, what Mike fails to foresee are the complications and disruptions that can occur in the act of transmission. When Mike transports himself via ‘Wonka Vision’ he is indeed broken into a million pieces, but when put back together again he is a tenth of his original size. Some of Mike Tvees information had been compressed and subsequently corrupted. Over the course of her research residency in Paris with the Centre Photographique d'Ile-de-France, Strand asked her husband (at home in the UK) to choose images from her archive and apply an agreed grid. He would then communicate the sequence of numbers (between 1-10) relating to the tonal code of each photographic element on the grid, via telephone. When received in Paris by Strand, she methodically painted the code on the matching hand drawn large-scale grid she had drawn in her studio. Strand had also taken her lead from Claude Shannon’s (information theory, as well as George H. Eckhardt who, in his 1936 publication Electronic Television, discusses the potential for transmitting a coded photograph from sender to receiver via telegraph to produce a fair representation of the original image.

“What she was actually painting was only revealed to her during the process. She would start painting totally unaware of what was going to materialise. They bear all the marks of a struggle. She is not a painter, and as the result the paintings function not only on the level of what they represent but also on the level of seeing the paintings materiality. One is immediately struck by the thickness , the technique, the brushstrokes, the skill of each square and how the ‘hand’ of the artist appears in them. All of these characteristics are highly modernist ways of understanding painting, and all contrast starkly with the slickness and flatness of photography.” Susan Bright. Deja- Vu Catalogue , PhotoEspana 2019.

The Discrete Channel with Noise is not only concerned with the potential pitfalls of the transmission of information and imagery via our everyday electronic methods, and how easily information can be misunderstood , misinterpreted or misued, but the work also acknowledges the historical relationship between painting and photography that have often been set at odds. More introspectively, it considers the irony that The Discrete Channel of Noise paintings will most often be experienced through their photographic reproduction via the installation shot.