Every image in Lichtenstein’s layered artist book departs from a singular work: Welcome Water, where Lichtenstein collaborated with J. Stoner Blackwell to make flatbed scans of the artist’s delicate sculptures derived from disposable carrier bags, which were then cut out and stitched into a sprawling sculptural floorpiece. Meditating on the waste and burdensome environmental significance of these single-use plastic objects, Lichtenstein accumulated and activated the detritus of Welcome Water, using the negative cutouts and test-prints of the work to recycle them into new photographic forms.
The results are three series that are both distinct and inseparably intertwined: Holes, a series of black-and-white images reworking Blackwell’s delicate laser-cut interventions to the carrier bags; Grounds, a physical layering of leftover cutout shapes, pinned and affixed, leaving a gaping void at the photographic centre; and finally, Untitled, Lichtenstein’s boldest foray into abstraction, where her source materials were repeatedly printed and scanned, sometimes up to thirty times, to create a giddying and vertiginous collaboration with the entropy of print technology. These works are layered with ink, program errors, exaggerations and obfuscations, eventually liberating her source material into pure free-form visual abstraction.
Lichtenstein creates images that are at once challenging and seductive, setting forth a chain reaction of feedback loops in which pictorial space is filled and mutated through collaboration with and against the limits of imaging technologies. Recorder contains profound depths and coalescent shapes that never fully resolve themselves, but within this profundity a clear thread can be drawn, connecting the push-and-pull of photography’s tendency to both record and obscure, with a meditation on waste, consumption, and the environmental changes set loose by the anthropocene.
- 104pp, 60 colour plates, 222 × 285 mm
Embossed softcover with double-folded cover
- texts by A. L. Steiner & Prudence Pfeiffer
- Loose Joints, March 2021