I will add this, though, to my thoughts about what one can do with digital techniques. A little while ago I had the idea that it would be very cool to create a jpeg variant which would allow to have different pixel block sizes and different compression at the same time. If you look at Ruff’s jpegs - here’s one - you can see that the original jpeg mechanism prefers square blocks, and it also does a uniform compression. I thought it would be cool to allow the code to do an adaptive compression - basically creating huge blocks in areas with little colour variation and tiny blocks elsewhere.
Since I know how to write computer programmes, I sat down and wrote a code that did just that. Above is one of the images I created - this one done in kind of an inverse Ruffian fashion: I downloaded huge images from the web (since I need the details for the finely resolved parts), and then ran my algorithm over it.
And then the critic in me asked the programmer in me what I wanted to do with this. I wasn’t happy with just running a bunch of images through the machine and call it a day - since, after all, the medium is not the message. I’m still thinking about what to do with this, sitting on a (virtual) stack of images, some of which look rather cool…
Aesthetically, I think my jpegs create some sense of things being very unreal and real at the same time - because you can clearly see what’s going on, but you can also see that there is a lot of artificial work somewhere.