(American, born 1970)
100 Special Moments (Kids with Santa), 2004
digital C-print, 43.25 x 34.75 inches
Artwork courtesy of the Artist
Jason Salavon’s creative medium is information—numerical, textual, and pictorial. Using computer software of his own design, he compresses and transforms that raw data into evocative photographs, videos, and electronic installations. In this series of four works titled 100 Special Moments, Salavon searched the internet and downloaded 100 pre-existing photographs of four common photographic portrait subjects. He then used a computer program to average the digital information for each set of images. The technical process resulted in ghostly composite images that reveal patterns of human behavior. We can see, for instance, how newlyweds are often identically dressed and posed, or how children are universally restless on Santa’s lap. Salavon has performed similar operations with blockbuster movies, music recordings, and, more recently, with two centuries of census data for a permanent installation at the U.S. Census Bureau headquarters.
I’m interested in making objects that have a conceptual, rigorous basis, but that at the same time are pretty visually luscious . . . attractive, and can work in both of those spaces simultaneously.