Meet Catherine M. Weir, MFA Computational Studio Arts

Catherine is in Year 2 of our MFA Computational Studio Arts programme here at Goldsmiths. Here Cat tells us more about herself and her Year 1 final project which was included in the MFA degee show, Nowhere in September 2012.

Catherine works with photographic and digital media to explore the ways in which our sense of memory, time and of place is shaped by evolving technologies.  Her work often blends elements of what may broadly be termed analogue and digital practices in an effort not to extol the virtues of one over the other, but to examine the relationship between the two and to reflect on their distinct material and emotive properties.

Her work has been exhibited widely at galleries in both Scotland and London, where she currently lives and works.  Past exhibitions include New Contemporaries 2011 at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh and Futureproof 2010 at StreetLevel Photoworks, Glasgow.

Her present research is concerned with the materiality of the photograph and the significance of the index within a digital framework.  By exploiting the meta-data embedded in every digital photograph to create locative, time-based works, she questions if this data may equate to a digitally-constructed index comparable to the physical trace carried by celluloid film.

Artist Statement
In a sense this project is something of a memento mori, only it is not about death.

If anything it is about Error 404, returned when an Internet user attempts to follow a link to a page to a page that no longer exists.  It is a reminder of the ephemeral nature of information stored online, where a broken link may be the only indication that there was anything there at all.

Photography and the Internet have become closely inter-twined in recent years, with millions of photographs uploaded everyday.  We take more photographs than ever before but in contrast with the snapshots of past generations many of these images are never printed.

These digital photographs, unlike their printed counterparts, can in theory last forever without decay, as pristine as the day they were taken.  But how many of these unprinted images – these moments rescued from everyday life – will in time be lost to deleted files, failed businesses or outdated technology?

The printed images here are not photographs.  They are pointers, links to photographs shared online via Flickr and an attempt to re-connect photography and physical artifacts.  They will last for as long as any printed photographs that have so far endured for decades, but ultimately they are destined to one day become broken links.

Please visit Catherine’s website here: www.cmweir.com