Art Basel Statements

June 11-16, 2013

Scott-Douglas’s installation presents a cross-sectional view of three new bodies of work, displayed on and in road cases that perform the multiple roles of frame, screen and architecture. All three series – “Chopped Bills,” “Torn Cheques” and “Bit Rot” – share an interest in the meanings and metaphors of digitization, economics and the aesthetic potential of industrial light. They are all involved in the migration of images and abstractions across the mediums of painting, photography, sculpture, cinema and pure numerical data.

The “Chopped Bills” series results from high-res scans of small ink stamps found on American $100 bills once they are in circulation. By law in America, graphic imaging software programs are unable to scan currency, but the stamps change the appearance of the bills, making them accessible to digital appropriation. Scott-Douglas uses the alien ink marks to override internal blocks. The mysterious origins and contingency of these stamps are part of the power of the resulting images, created in unique versions through dye-sublimation on linen.

Scott-Douglas’s “Torn Cheque” works consist of abstract laser cuts on white gessoed canvas. Each composition is developed from vector files in which the visual information provided by photographs of the artist’s earlier cyanotype and laser-cut pieces is re-ordered by a digital algorithm. These canvases are effectively a digital tearing of the original image. Like a cashed check, they document an expenditure.

Finally, “Bit Rot” consists of four works that derive their content from disassembled and disorganized lighting gel catalogs. Framed by slide mounts and run in an analog slide projector, the colored gels are transformed into projections whose content is the emotional associations of a significant hue. As the title “Bit Rot” suggests, the minimal works are about the degradation of memory.

Hugh Scott-Douglas (b. 1988, Cambridge, UK) has a BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design and has exhibited his work in Toronto, New York, Berlin, Milan, Chicago and London. This year, he had a solo show at Blum & Poe in Los Angeles and was in an exhibition at the Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum in Michigan. Scott-Douglas lives and works in New York.