Jason Salavon is a 49-year-old American digital artist currently based in Chicago. He focused not only on art, but also programming during and after attending school at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He takes popular culture media and creates his own piece that shows a new perspective of the already familiar content. In his biography on his main website, he says, “The final compositions are exhibited as art objects, such as photographic prints and video installations, while others exist in a real-time software context.”
He is currently a professor in the Department of Visual Arts and the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago.
100 Special Moments is a series of digital prints made in 2004. It was inspired by a broader series that Salavon had begun in 1997. Each of these works utilizes 100 unique commemorative photographs found on the internet. “The final compositions are arrived at using both the mean and the median, splitting the difference between a specific norm and an ideal one.” This concept reminds me of how sometimes search and rescue agencies will combine/layer images of parents’ faces to compose an image of what a missing child could potentially look like after being missing for a long period of time.
This mini-series of synthetic skulls are an extension of the
Still Life (Vanitas) project. The skulls represent the morphing of multiple mammals. The first skull is said to be 13% baboon, 36% bear, 46% human, and 5% wild boar. The second one is 21% baboon, 18% bear, 17% human, 44% wild boar. I feel as though the digital skulls bring a sense of realism to fictional animals created by Salavon.
This project is probably my favorite one made by Salavon, mostly because order and organization is very aesthetically pleasing to me. Ultimately, he describes this work as “a standard, tertiary ROYGBV color wheel from thousands of images returned by queries for color terms.” This massive collage also has close-up detailed images so the viewer can see the individual images that the color wheel is composed of.
“Salavon also says that “here, the interest lies in mapping a ‘semantic gradient” to a color gradient through the amoral & skewed lens of search engines.'”
This final image is based off of the “couch gag” that occurs at the end of The Simpson’s theme song. It is made up of hundreds of layers of still images from each “couch gag” from the first 26 seasons of the cartoon. The overall project represents the unification of his amalgamation work with his color-averaged frame work. This style of work is one of Salavon’s most well-known and greatly reflects his artistic and technological talents.
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