This work was created as part of the Photography Is Magic Commission project curated by Charlotte Cotton.


"The artists who have created bespoke works in response to Photography Is Magic reconsider photographic traditions and implement new skills to create their versions of photographic sleight of hand. Their photographic magic derives from the span of the medium’s rich history, from analog through to the newest imaging technologies, and is set within the framework of the present moment of visual culture."


—Charlotte Cotton


Kate Steciw has been a leading new voice in the investigation of the actual and symbolic impact of digital hardware and software—the tools that create the preponderance of today’s images—within the sphere of contemporary art photography. Working with photographic imagery found online, Steciw’s sculptures and objects explore relationships between contemporary ideas, collective desires, and the vast circulation of images. For this commission, Steciw has translated her concept for the gatefold cover of the Photography Is Magic book into a physical object.


"In a social system in which so much culturally relevant information is transmitted via images, it is in the form of images that we most often encounter the objects of our desire. The image is representational of both the desire and the desired, and if/when the object does materialize, it is often represented and disseminated again as an image (documentation). Not only that, but due to the object’s origins in mechanical reproduction it too behaves as an image . . . an image both of its representational intention (a mold-injected decorative sconce as an image of a hand-hewn wooden sconce) and its ideological function (a chair acts as an image of or stand-in for romantic love, casual whimsy, or intellectual integrity). Images and objects function as delivery systems for commerce-driven ideologies. That said, such systems are entirely reliant on context and composition, and are fatally disrupted by even minor interventions."


—KS

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