Mask Filter (2013)
Trap made from woven twigs, FireWire 800,
leather, silver and camera lens adapter
27.9 x 35.6 x 66 cm
Mask Filter and its immediately accompanying work a loose leaf falls between are part of Adam Chodzko’s installation Room for Laarni, Image Moderator (2013) which collectively explores the experience of being psychologically overwhelmed by the process of relentlessly viewing imagery flowing between communities and researches this through trying to empathise with the character of Laarni, a remote image moderator for a social media site. Mask Filter, as with I See Through Every Image. (A souvenir for Laarni; A planting template for Belladonna seeds), develops the idea of creating an apparatus that helps to facilitate for a user a process of understanding, control and dispersal of the affective power of imagery.
Each Mask Filter can be attached to a camera lens to create a ‘filter’ or ‘mask’ between subject and viewer. Mask-Filters are a series of, what initially seem to be ‘sculptures’, usually made from a mixture of simple, found, organic, exotic, everyday, expensive and poor materials constructed to make a complex web of often fragile matter. These structures, despite sharing visual similarities with ‘outsider’ sculpture, are intended paradoxically, to be looked ‘through’ rather than ‘at’, having a use-value and functionality attributed to them. They are a piece of camera kit, at least in a parallel reality, (a folk sci-fi) , an apparatus which seems aesthetically and materially at complete odds with the smooth, shiny black and silver metals and plastics commonly used for cameras and their accessories. Mask Filter turns the observer into something carnivalesque and strange, prompting the viewer to attract observation. It allows the camera operator and the subsequent audiences to become as masked as the subject so that the web of lines of connection between seen and seer flows back and forth, both trapped and sieved, between the camera, image, audience and artist. Both the filter and the ‘user-manual diagram’ (a loose leaf falls between) refer to the entanglement of the emic and etic forms of anthropological research. The Mask Filter series was originally conceived in 2004 as the means to document events specifically created through Chodzko’s practice, particularly from the body of work Design for a Carnival. Each Mask-Filter exists partly as a poem of references made through the list of materials used to construct them.
Room for Laarni, Image Moderator catalogue
Conversation between Jennifer Higgie, Andrew Renton, Adam Chodzko
Editor Andrew Renton. Published November, 2013
Download pdf of catalogue