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Vision Dissolves (Skin of the Film)


ink on paper


Vision Dissolves (Skin of the Film) recombines phrases from Laura U. Marks' book The Skin of the Film to explore ways that marginalized people can reclaim agency over photographic image-making. Taking from Marks’ idea that diasporic and intercultural artists employ film, video, and other lens-based media to evoke the sense of touch, Cleave uses their fingers to retrace Marks’ words onto a flatbed scanner. The scanner cannot ‘capture’ objects further than a few millimeters from its surface, so it makes images mostly of things it can touch, or that can touch it. The scanner is also sensitive to changing light conditions and it embeds traces of its own mechanics into every image it helps produce. So user, subject, and machine collaborate toward a shared outcome in this process. The resulting work combines image with text to wonder what might happen when we encounter photographic works that push beyond our sense of vision?

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