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All rights reserved © 2017 Kate Joyce
Ten Diptychs | 2007
In 2006 my Porsche designed Lacie hard drive failed. It contained thousands of digital image files. I used data retrieval software to salvage the content. Most of the files were fully recovered but a handful came back dramatically scrambled.
The splintered data was a by-product of mechanical malfunction, algorithms I will probably never understand and my original photographic compositions (many of which came from a documentary project in South Africa). New fictions emerged from the corrupted files, bringing to question whether it was now impossible to draw conclusions about the original subjects in the photographs.
As a child, before becoming a photographer, I wanted to be a detective. The idea of taking and relying on fingerprints fascinated me. The fingerprint is perhaps the quintessential icon of identity. It is a unique mark that every human with fingers leaves behind. It is a mark whose structure follows the mathematics of the Fibonacci sequence. It can incriminate or validate based on its arches, loops or whorls. It is a mark inextricable from the individual, yet has little to do with their personality or story.
After selecting and printing a group of the most dynamically corrupted files I paired them with a fingerprint from each of my 10 fingers.
The diptychs' titles identify two things: the generic, software-derived name given each recovered file and the finger from which each print was made.
- Kate Joyce 2012