Sharon Harper Statement

Artist Statement
My approach to artmaking is experimental. I’m responding to an environment or situation to figure out how I can access ideas I cannot reach, record or understand without the camera. I’m looking for ways to acquire knowledge, and to describe experiences that are inextricably connected to the technology that is used to record them. The work is a way for me to explore a connection between technology, human consciousness and our broader surroundings. I’m working against my training and expectations of photography to broaden my understanding of the medium. The work exploits photography’s ability to capture images beyond human perception together with its corresponding ability to conjure metaphors for invisible phenomena in the physical world. Each time I start a project I try different cameras or approaches. Within the work as a whole, images of the moon, stars, sun, etc. combine scientific and conceptual uses of photography to reveal the medium’s ability to both verify empirical evidence and to create poetic connections between our environment and ourselves. My work as a whole endeavors to build an experimental, symbolic relationship between the camera, the image-maker and the natural world. This use of the camera foregrounds the apparatus as a partner in the recording process. The camera impacts the record it keeps, which is ultimately a visual dialogue transcribed by the image-maker and the camera together. In turn, this relationship becomes a metaphor for the myriad ways technology and art affect and ultimately facilitate our understanding of our surroundings.

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