Horizon 

Noun 

 

“The line at the farthest place that you can see, where the sky seems to touch the land or sea”. 

Intangible and unreachable, the horizon is not identified by its matter or physical being, but rather by the absence of presence. The horizon is unique in the sense that it is defined by a state of nothingness. Nothing but a two-dimensional line in a multi-dimensional reality. This is not just a paradoxical shortcoming of how words of the English language are compartmentalized into groups, but rather an insight and an opportunity to delve into the depth and complexities of the reality we are part of. 

The horizon is evocative of the infinite. With no fixed location or physical properties, it toys with notions of limitless scale and distance. With the horizon as our lens, we observe the unbounded expanse of space from our own physical point of view. No matter the distance we travel in an attempt to reach the horizon, it is impossible. We observe the infinitesimally small at the point where the sky seems to touch the land or sea. It is immeasurable, simply conceptual, there is no fixed point where physical contact occurs.  

In his Essay, ‘Ectoplasm’, Geoffrey Batchen discusses how our reality is constructed from a series of representations of representations. Batchen argues that nothing is simply as it is, but it is our wider cultural understanding of these representations that ultimately forms our perception of a subject. Batchen discusses the cultural change in perception of what we understand to be true. Horizon attempts to delve further into this exploration by addressing the properties of a subject. For what is a thing, without its properties? What then, is the value of those properties without the representations we apply to them? Further, what are those representations without yet further representations we then view them deeper and often more metaphorically through? 

Horizon is a series of digitally manipulated abstract photographs of horizons. Specifically, three different coastlines across the Wellington Region. In addition to digital manipulation, deliberate in-camera choices have been made to heavily manipulate the subject and distort it from the reality our eyes perceive. Long exposures and intentional camera movement blur the image in a directional fashion, freeing the scene from typical readings of the subject, rendering the result non-representational and abstract in nature. In terms of digital manipulation, a series of techniques have been employed to further the impressionistic approach. These techniques include digitally transposing multiple photographs, experimenting with transparencies and employing algorithms that display pixels in the certain way in accordance with the other photographs being used.  

This series aims to explore and glorify the complexities and wonder of the reality we are part of. It acknowledges the cultural barriers of our perception of reality and attempts to not look past these, but instead use these shortcomings as an opportunity to gain a true insight.