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The Edge of Vision Interview Series: Bill Armstrong

In this 2009 interview photographer Bill Armstrong discusses his work Mandala #450 within the context of the Aperture exhibition The Edge of Vision: Abstraction in Contemporary Photography, as well as his Infinity series, for which he photographs printed source material with his camera’s focus ring set to infinity. Going through his work since the 1980s, Armstrong explains why he uses blurring as a process, as well as his “painterly approach to photography.” At the end, he also introduces his newer video work.

This clip is part of an interview series produced on the occasion of The Edge of Vision: Abstraction in Contemporary Photography, curated by Lyle Rexer, which showcased the work of nineteen international contemporary photographers—including Bill ArmstrongMichael FlomenManuel GeerinckBarbara KastenChris McCawPenelope Umbrico, and Silvio Wolf—who base their practice in some form of abstraction from highly conceptual to more documentary approaches. The works explore diverse aspects of the photographic experience, including the chemistry of traditional photography, the direct capture of light without a camera, temporal extensions, digital sampling of found images, radical cropping, and various deliberate destabilizations of photographic reference. This abstract use of photography often combines other mediums such as painting, sculpture, drawing or video. All artists join a broad contemporary trend to look critically and freshly at a medium commonly considered transparent.

The exhibition was accompanied by The Edge of Vision Limited-Edition Portfolio, as well as the book The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography by Lyle Rexer (Aperture, 2009).

Related article: Interview with Bill Armstrong
Related video: Thinking In Color: A Conversation with Bill Armstrong and W.M. Hunt

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