"Pigment Migrations & Suspended Refraction"


I believe we live in a moment when the torrent of the digital and the inertia of the analog collide with each other creating an aesthetic and a lived experience unique to our time. It is my hope that the works here look and feel of this moment.This collision is the subject of the works presented. The works create tensions between material and immaterial, real and virtual, analog and digital, pigments and pixels, that can be seen as an allegorical device through which to look at our present state.

These works specifically consider the aesthetics and conditions of production representative/symptomatic of our time where pigments and pixels push and pull at each other. They strive to evoke what is immediately unrepresentable today, only felt in its effects. Specifically, the effects of mechanics such as optics that underlie photography but also of algorithms, systems, applications, software, and networks refracting data, pigments, and pixels that are ultimately felt through our bodies and rendered into sensation.

Photography is a curious medium to explore something so intangible. It insists on its relationship to the real. This indexicality of the photograph is precisely why I think it is a potent medium with which to explore what is only yet felt, while not literalizing the present. The things that slip out of the concrete and escape indexicality allow us to consider the potential beyond the real. In the works presented, I allow this potential to fold into formal abstraction and photographic representation. The works here aim to create a felt experience not only of the surfaces and the vehicles of the felt experience unique to our time (such as web browsers, images with 8-bit aesthetics, or visualization of 3D virtual worlds) but also of the processes and structures unfolding underneath.

Some of the works are straight documents (photographs) of setups in the studio using mirrors and tape [CMYKRGB series] or performative actions undertaken in the studio [Process Structures #5 where I pop strobe lights while I walk back and forth in front of the camera wearing an orange shirt]. Some are photographs of paint, paint medium, or paper and are manipulated with a simple digital gesture such as offsetting the color channel [Process Structure #1], while others can be considered a collaboration with the digital algorithms which is no longer a mere simple tool but one that has its own ideas about object ontology (for example, the content-aware algorithm in Photoshop) [Process Structures #2, #3, #4, #6, #7].


Akihiko Miyoshi's works explores the intersection between art and technology most frequently dealing with issues surrounding representation. His work has been exhibited widely including Portland, New York, Los Angeles, Rochester, Pittsburgh, and Toronto. He was named the International Award Winner of Fellowship 12 at The Silver Eye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh PA, and the finalist for the Betty Bowen Award from the Seattle Art Museum in 2012 and Aperture Portfolio Prize in 2013. Miyoshi received a Hallie Ford Fellowship in 2012. Born in Japan, Akihiko Miyoshi received a MFA in photography in 2005 from the Rochester Institute of Technology after taking a leave of absence as a PhD student in computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University to pursue art. Miyoshi is an Associate Professor of photography and digital media at Reed College in Portland OR.