John Goulet’s “In the Wild,” represents a kind of insistence of digital imposition on the natural world.  The viewer is drawn to the central images of the huddled faces that are then echoed nearby where another “face,” more ghoulish in its abstraction, seems to join the party.  The larger world around these figures is both full of comforting, familiar shapes, and yet foreign as the digital “icebergs” converge around the most-recognizable form in the entire image of the skyscraper (rendered small and less monolithic in the digital world).

The works in this folio cohere around these themes of the digital world’s effect being akin to the skyscraper of the late 19th century.  Viewers, for example, recognize the intrusion and comfort of QRC codes on the dreamer in Anne Shaw’s photograph, or the loose and fluid, seemingly-open source images scuttling the pages of Caroline Wilkinson’s fan fiction as explorations of the tensions inherent in the medium.  Even Randi Ward’s beautiful photographs from the Faroe Islands utilize the stunningly vivid primary colors of obviously rustic objects that can be captured and rendered only through deft manipulations of the digital medium.

Shaw’s work, in particular, expresses the way digital ways of capturing, viewing, and engaging are creating their own visual language: a kind of ascemic text that calls to us to find its translations even as we feel we already know the grammar.

Darren DeFrain
Art Editor
August 2015

Darren DeFrain

Darren DeFrain is the author of the cult novel, The Salt Palace (New Issues Press) and the story collection, Inside & Out (MSR Press).  Both books have been re-released as eBooks by Dzanc Books.  He is the Writing Program Director at Wichita State University and Associate Professor of English there where he teaches, among many other things, courses on graphic novels and narrative.  He lives in Wichita with his wife, writer Melinda DeFrain, their two daughters, and a host of critters.