Artist Statement

I work primarily with photographic materials and processes, but I do not consider myself a photographer. While I produce photographic prints, my purpose generally falls in line with documenting a process or the results of a process. Usually, I will begin an image either using digital cameras or, with decreasing frequency, film cameras, and then in the course of making an image, I also use wood, string, wire, mud, alkyds, oil paint, watercolor, and ink, sometimes as additions to a print but just as often as primary materials themselves. My process generally aims at disrupting processes and outcomes embedded in the apparatus of "photography." The moral capacity of photography shows itself when it is occupied most with a documentary intent, without which we would be unable to navigate our world the way we have constructed it. I admire that mode but do not practice it. Making art is punk rock, no matter how refined it seems on the outside, and the way I make images is a little closer to smashing electric guitars than playing them.

Regardless of what materials I use, the central problem in my work is how to understand the environment, our perception of the environment, and how we use contextual clues to fill in gaps in our knowledge. I never start a project with any of this in mind. Images are the result of a disturbance, my dissatisfaction with what I am looking at or sometimes what I am thinking. This is a central tenet of photography and behind our drive to preserve everything temporal in images, but my dissatisfaction ranges a little further than that. At the very least we are all dissatisfied with what is passing, but I am more interested in knowing just what it is that is passing. We collect records of phenomena very easily. What I want in my images is the Being of an experience.

Charles Grogg
August 2017