Ignavus Auspex

Found photography digitally manipulated.
Various sizes. Edition 1/1.

At first glance these images look like ordinary depictions of birds in their natural habitat but on a closer look one notices that the surroundings do not really make any sense. The original images come from ornithologist websites, it’s the kind of generic picture used to describe a specific species. I have used algorithms to analyze the image and sample it´s content – creating a larger but artificial landscape.

These days image editing programs have become so powerful and advanced that they open up a broad array of possibilities to make new imagery based on existing photographic content. The majority of the visual appearance in these images are interpretations, a mathematical assumption on how new pixels should be added to make a trustworthy image. I find it interesting to use an algorithm without any sense of aesthetics – to create images with a strong and unique style.

The title Ignavus Auspex is Latin for lazy birdwatcher, a playful titel aiming to allure the viewer to think about how these images have been made. An ambitious ornithologist always refers to the latin name when categorizing birds. Even though I dont call myself an ornithologist, I am using latin when searching online for new species to add to my collection. I´ve found that it is the most efficient way to encounter high resolution pictures.

Auspex in the title simply means ”a person watching birds” and even though I am not out in nature I´m still obsessively looking at birds on my computer screen. From a traditional ornithologist perspective my method probably comes across as lazy – hence the first part of the title – Ignavus. However in today’s remediated society we experience the world through screens and as an artist I need to use these new circumstances to make new images – images that reflect our times.

The title for each image in this series I have simply used the file-name from the original picture. In order to see how it looked before I manipulated it one can just google the title, for example 1280-wallpaper-pictures-free.

Read more (in Swedish) https://www.verktidskrift.se/erik-berglin