Lisa Levine & Peter Tonningsen

Complex cityscapes in this collaborative project combining digital technology and film.
May 5 - May 28, 2011

Drawing inspiration from a musical notion in which two voices that sound and move independently coalesce to create a more elaborate and harmonious music, Counterpoint is a collaborative photo-based project pushing the limitations of a singular vision towards a more fluid and complex perspective by interweaving two creative voices. This project is essentially a visual conversation intended to redefine the boundaries of authorship and the photographic document while creating a novel approach to defining landscape that moves beyond what either artist can do individually.

Beginning with a single roll of film, one artist photographs various scenes throughout a specific landscape. The film is then rewound, exchanged with the other artist to duplicate this process, with this exchange repeated multiple times, eventually creating a surprising and complexly layered document of that place. The multiple exposed films are scanned in sections of consecutive frames, the artists digitally extract discrete scenes from these sections, and then those scenes are reworked to accentuate selected formal and contextual components. This unique synthesis between digital and analog technologies relies on the distinctive characteristics and possibilities of each, yet also unites them into an aesthetically imaginative and innovative form.

Opposing the singularity and clarity of conventional direct photographic representation, and embracing the serendipitous wonder of this atypical process, the resulting photographs are visually rich and highly complex compositions that describe a creative interchange composed of fragments of information, time, and space. Such interpretive photographs are no longer picture perfect portals into reality, but now depict a multidimensional perspective that expands our notions of the photographic instant and reorders the appearance of photographic space. This approach allows the artists to convey a blending of visions consistent with musical counterpoint.