Image Fodder : Between the Artificial and Real Lies the Image

Bh07 Instagram

Image courtesy of Keith Marks

Fodder is material. It is coarse; banal, readily available, and used to feed. This consumption may resonate with pastoral scenes of animals grazing in open fields, filling their bellies full until they are slaughtered, packaged, and consumed. What may appear as a dirty act to the realities surrounding the food we eat, speaks to the way we consume and construct the image today.

Images are artificial. The mechanical process to produce them does not reflect the reality we see. The role of the image, similar to the fodder of our domesticated counterparts, is to be consumed. The rate at which this consumption occurs is exponential.  With the inception of image based apps, we are constantly asked to like, dislike, save, discard, self-organize, and curate with the simple act of a double tap or quick swipe to the left.

Within our currently saturated image culture there is a discontinuity between the attention given to an image, versus the reality the image depicts. For instance, post processing techniques dealing with coloration, cropping, and filters pull the image further and further away from what it originally captured. It is this tension between the real and artificial that we find a useful process which exists in the latent space between the two.

Gd08 Instagram

Image courtesy of Keith Marks


Like the cow consuming its grain, the images produced today are assembled from a slew of existing content, meticulously assembled to produce an image that appears seamless and whole. Similar to the highly specific diet of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats fed to the animals we raise and eat, the content chosen for an image construction is highly selective.  The image, like fodder, is course, dirty, and riddled with inconsistencies; which became the interests in cataloging residential housing in Los Angeles. In contrast to Bernd and Hilla Becher, who were concerned with typology, this inventory is concentrated on vernacular and composed of housing conditions found in the everyday. The staple California blue sky, patchy beds of asphalt, red curbs, rod-iron fences, weathered siding, browned grass, and ad hoc additions are all the material needed to construct a blend of found conditions immersed in the everyday, banal,  seamless, and whole.

Bh19 Instagram

Image courtesy of Keith Marks


Beginning with three as-built’s, each house was photographed and physically modeled, while maintaining as much of its original condition as possible. In the act of construction, the house was cut and reassembled based upon opposing conditions, not typical to the formal language of the home. Shingled walls, roofed siding, stucco’d floors, paved porches all became the strange conditions to resolve within the constructions. Remaining constrained to the vernacular language of residential housing allow each of the new constructions to take on a strange familiarity to their context while maintaining a certain degree of autonomy. The result is three new houses, made of many houses, guised as a single house.

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Image courtesy of Keith Marks


This process mines the image of the everyday to produce strange and unique conditions that were there the whole time; we just had to pay attention. A provocation for an architecture ‘of place’  as opposed to ‘out of place’, one that is subtle in its influence and demands further exploration. Each time the image is constructed from its constituent parts, it takes on a new vernacular consistency which gives the appearance of a seamless whole. These new constructs expand the existing territory of the vernacular language from which it was constructed and suggests new trajectories. The image becomes productive.

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Image courtesy of Keith Marks

Bh19 Png File Offramp

Image courtesy of Keith Marks

Gd08 Png File Offramp

Image courtesy of Keith Marks


All aspects of the image are foreign to its adjacencies. What appears as a typical context begins to skew, not fully adhering to the reality we see; its guise and consumption is shifted.  Shadows dance freely across surfaces, curbs are unaligned, apertures and materially shift in scale but are taken as reality through its construction. A reality built upon the artificial and the fodder of the everyday.