As you probably noticed, my main concern here this past week has been with a new generative AI editing process available in Photoshop. This has allowed me to work imagery into my existing photographs to produce sometimes magical, sometimes frustrating results. There are two qualities to this that make it particularly compelling to me: One is this sense of gambling. Failure and magic lurk around every corner, and I find this terribly engaging in art. The second is a strange sense of collage work while working in this idiom. I have always loved collage work, and this kind of piecing together imagery, bit by bit until it works, is immensely satisfying to me.
When I was first in art school I would go to Point Reyes National Seashore and collect old bottles, stones, seaweed, crab claws, and feathers, and then assemble them into slightly bizarre, and to me, lovely, bouquets. At times I would have sprawling, yet organized collections of found items spread out over my Oakland living room (sometimes to the consternation of my roommates!). I don't believe I submitted any of the finished items to any of my art classes. But I'm sure I was fascinated with the results and consumed at times by the process.
And so I am now.
So far you have seen more finished, articulate collections of this image making, but I have been experimenting a lot with the possibilities in this technique, and now I want to show you my strays, so to speak. I wouldn't bring them to clerkmanifesto if I didn't feel there was interest to be found in them, but also showing them here is a way to finish them and move on from these particular pictures.
This first one is from out beyond the front desk of my library. It involves a separately generated cat in a jar. As much as I am all about the over the top imagery, it is perhaps the more subtle introductions in this image the belie the power of this tool, like the fireplace on the right wall for instance.