Artist StatementJohn Roome, 2010. Harbouring Aliens, digital print on archival paper, A3 (297 x 420 mm). Just as the Soccer World Cup was coming to an end there were reports that xenophobia was about to rear its ugly head again. Threats were made to non South Africans that, come the end of the Soccer World Cup, their houses and shops would be burnt down and their lives would be in danger. Thousands lined the roads waiting to catch buses to get away. (Fortunately the violence was not on the same scale as previously and seemed to have been brought under control). At this time I was photographically recording the changing moods of Cape Town harbour. In one, taken at dawn, the cranes appeared as menacing, robot-like, alien beings.Harbours are universally associated with immigration. These threatening, alien-like machines appeared to me as metaphors for our deep- seated, irrational fear of the “other “. In my drawing I tried to express a sense of the abject, of fear, and imminent violence …
If technology is the answer, what is the question? John Roome. 2010.
I am a visual artist and educator who obtained my fine art degree many more years ago than I care to remember. My formative years were grounded in what are now known as “traditional” or even “old” media. Technology was not really something I thought about. Most of the technologies I was introduced to and made use of, probably date back to the Renaissance or even earlier. In fact throughout my career I have been particularly interested in ancient technologies such as handmade paper and relief printing. I saw these as ways of expressing myself rather than as technologies. But in fact they are technologies. Artists have a long tradition of adapting old technologies or even inventing new technologies. The re- introduction of hand papermaking by printmakers in the 1960’s is an example of how an out-dated technology was used to revitalize art. Many artists respond to old and new technologies in surprising ways.
This series of digital drawings was done using the Paint programme and a mouse. They were a response to the view from my office window. They are part of a larger series of drawings which I used to make an animated video.
The final stage of a hand drawn digital image. Another one of my attempts at "slowing down the digital". The drawing took many hours as opposed to the fast productuion of the original digital image on the computer.