Paho Mann: “Paho Mann”
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Exhibition will be on display from September 29 – November 12, 2022.
Paho Mann investigates the personal and cultural relationships to objects we collect to address shifting values, perceptions, and memory. In the project, Fragmented Cameras, Mann used a consumer-grade 3D scanner to scan historic and obsolete cameras ranging from early stereoscopic cameras to first-generation iPhones. These images explore connections between new and historic imaging technologies. Often, the use of an emergent technology results in some deterioration in quality – in using consumer grade 3D scanning technology the scans often depict objects as fragmented versions of themselves, almost as if they have exploded. This becomes a metaphor for the constant transition of photographic technology and the use of new technology to comment on increasingly obsolete formats of historic image making. The new technology displaces the old, reflecting a tempestuous relationship between the two.
From its inception photography has been thought of as a way to replicate human vision, making copies of the real. This link to the real is intertwined with photography’s relationship to new technology, resulting in various possibilities of how to depict reality. But photography’s fixed vantage point always shows only one possibility of reality or truth. Stereoscopic cameras were an early example of a new technology shifting expectations of how photography replicated human vision, attempting to expand this singular vantage point of a photograph to include the depth and physicality associated with human perception. Among the cameras Mann scanned for this project are several stereoscopic cameras ranging from early 19th century examples to 20th century disposable kodak film 3D cameras. As these historic cameras become more obsolete so do the ways that they claim to represent the world.
In the studio, Mann imports the 3D scans into Photoshop, a traditional 2D image editing software. Here he adds colorful backgrounds using color swatches from photography studio backdrops and by sampling the colors of the original cameras. Mann manipulates lighting inside the software, much like a product or portrait photographer would do in a lighting studio. The 3D scan is cropped to reflect the aspect ratio of the original camera.
Mann sees historic ties between the desires embedded in the stereoscopic cameras to the dual-camera often found in our cell phones to computational photography and the virtual worlds made available through 3D scanning technologies. Through his practice of allowing the 3D scans to glitch, Mann calls attention to the way lens-based media only mediates, but never truly represents reality.
Paho Mann’s work has been included in exhibitions at the Arizona State University Art Museum (Tempe, AZ), Tucson Museum of Art (Tucson, AZ), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN) and the Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh, PA) among others. Mann’s work is included in the collections of the Tucson Museum of Art, the Museum at Texas Tech University, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, and the City of Phoenix Public Art Program.
Mann was born in 1978 on his parents’ homestead near Snowflake, Arizona. In 1992 he moved with his family to Albuquerque, New Mexico where in 2001 he received a BFA from the University of New Mexico. He received his MFA from Arizona State University in 2007. Currently, Mann lives and works in Dallas, Texas where he is an Associate Professor of Photography at the University of North Texas.
For more information about the artist click HERE!
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