From Rhizome Artbase

Captured reflects my concern about the impact that expanded corporate power has on the social, cultural, and political landscape. How much of ourselves is shaped by the corporations that control what we eat, wear, watch, etc.? How do corporate media, advertising, and branding function as forces of social and cultural production? How many beliefs are the result of successful PR and advertising? Has culture given way to marketing?
Corporate cultural takeover is made explicit and literal in Captured, wherein the user/viewer's identity becomes no more than an amalgamation of corporate identities - your image reconstructed by corporate images; your self remade into your corporate self.
Beyond this, Captured is a result of investigations I have made into the elasticity/pliability of imagery and into the capture of real-time imagery for use in multimedia work. DJ's and electronica musicians splice, dice, and manipulate audio samples to create new reconstructed audio forms. Captured does similar things imagery, manipulating and reconstructing imagery in real time.
Interactive artworks can transform the user from passive observer into active participant. I've often thought that the ultimate expression/ extension of this is to transform the user into the subject; to collapse the distance between the observer and the observed. Captured uses the viewer as subject, which extends and personalizes the meaning of the work. It is not simply the artist (or the artist's subject) who has been captured and reconstructed by these corporate images - it is you.
Captured is an interactive digital media installation. When initiated by the user, a digital camera captures an image of the viewer/user. This image (of the viewer) is then transformed and reconstructed in real time before the user/viewer's eyes. The screen begins to display a series of recognizable/popular corporate logos that flash rhythmically across the screen. The color values and saturation of the logos are manipulated according to the coloring of the captured image. As the images flash across the screen, they begin to overlay one another, forming an abstract, undulating collage of logo imagery -- a kind of digital painting using partitive color. As the images progress, building and layering upon one another, a new image begins to take form - that of the viewer. Eventually, the imagery coalesce into a portrait of the viewer, reconstructed out of corporate logo imagery. From up close, the piece looks like an abstract, fragmented collection of logo imagery. From farther way, it is a digital painting of the viewer.
At the end of the process, the user has the opportunity to save his or her painting into memory, creating a growing library/history of images. Users have the option/ability to browse through this history of images and see the digital paintings of others who have been captured.

Karl Cleveland
26 February 2004
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Karl Cleveland