Installation #22 - Sam Plagerson - Two-Dimensional


Installation #22 - 1 June 2018

“We are told that a photograph is a “co-production of nature and man”- but is this co-production along the lines of Michelangelo and a piece of marble, or a geneticist and breeds of corn, or some other sort of co-production altogether? ”
— Joel Snyder and Neil Walsh Allen, Photography, Vision and Representation, 1975

The prevailing modes of media at present still provide two-dimensional experiences, yet technology is pushing towards a horizon where these methods of viewing are becoming destabilized, enticing virtual and three- dimensional versions of our perceived sense of reality. And yet these three 3d forms generated through algorithmic software, consist of reconstituted two-dimensional images, which are viewed in virtual 3d space on a two-dimensional screen. This three-dimensionality only becomes palpable when it is rematerialized, at the cost of its realism and verisimilitude.

This installation considers how these technologies reframe ideas of the two-dimensional, particularly how we experience photography. It places the two-dimensional photograph in relation to the 3d image exploring the reduction of information inherent in the way photographs metamorphose nature by transferring three- dimensional phenomena to a plane. Through the subject of a professional model, Two-Dimensional examines both how photography enacts these transpositions, but also how forms of 3d processing change and upset the genre of fashion photography. These technologies while seemingly offering the previously unattainable-the three-dimensional, are following principles of mapping, surveilling and observing the body, a strange conflation of their military application and their commercial use. These representations configured through this hardware, are casting a different shadow on our own image, to the extent we can no longer fully recognise what is natural in these computational forms.


Sam Plagerson is a current PhD candidate in the Art Department at Goldsmith’s College, and since graduating from The Royal College of Art in 2008 has exhibited nationally and internationally. Exhibitions include Things on things, Maverick Projects, London; Image Object, Furini Arte Contemporanea, Rome; Tryouts, Downstairs Gallery, Herefordshire; Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Pop will Eat Itself, Art on the Underground. He was the recipient of a Henry Moore Artist Fellowship Grant and an award from the Eaton Trust.