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Work Samples

Photoflex Silver Dome NXT (Small) (Unskinned)

Photoflex Silver Dome NXT (Small) (Unskinned). 24” x 30” digital photographic print. From "Hand of God", 2021 (new work/yet to be exhibited)

18 Reds, From My Teaching Classroom

18 Reds, From My Teaching Classroom. 120" x 40", Digital Photographic Print on Dibond. from "Charts & Records", 2018

Transcolorations (exhibition view)

Exhibition view from "Transcolorations". BlackRock Center for the Arts, Germantown, MD. 2018

Aalto School of Business. Helsinki, FI. 2018

Aalto School of Business. Helsinki, FI. 2018. 16" x 20", Digital Photographic Print. from "2153 Days", 2021.

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About Jon

Baltimore City

Jon Malis's picture
Jon Malis is an interdisciplinary artist based in Baltimore, MD. Initially trained as a photojournalist, his practice is based in the representation and display of visual content, focusing on how various methods of presentation and production can alter the viewer’s perception, interpretation, and experience of imagery. His current works seek to provide a physical definition of digital photography, creating images and sculptural forms based upon how computer color and digital processing unconsciously... more

2153 Days

2,153 Days: The amount of time between when I was hired into full-time academia and when I was awarded tenure.

Academia is, at its best, an ambiguous notion. We’re trained to be specialists in one über-specific topic, yet necessity requires us to be generalists within our classrooms. Our primary responsibilities are to our students, yet we must publish or perish.

As a faculty member teaching in the visual arts, these dualities become even more apparent: creative practice is referred to institutionally as research, and, in order to be promoted, we must have a clear research narrative and trajectory. Research is colloquially defined within the academy as contribution to new understandings and generation of unique knowledge, but I’ve always struggled with that makes photographs unique in the same way as, say, a scientist or historian.

With this in mind, for the past seven years, my research narrative has been a near-mechanical inquiry into how we experience the (digital) image – its (re)presentation on screens, recordation as colors and pixels, and reproduction as a subjective dataset. In crafting this strict narrative, I disregarded the image, and my own connection to the image itself, in order to present a cohesive story of the influences, theories, and aesthetic structures supporting my work.

These images, then, serve as a counterpoint to that exacting narrative of “what we see and how we see it” – somehow, by living on my phone and in random drobox folders, they didn’t feel like research, but rather, as documents of my life and memories from the corridors I walked and situations I experienced as a tenure-track faculty member. Looking back through this archive, I now see them in a new light. Full of anxiety, tension, and uncertainty. Relatively devoid of my friends and daily grind, they’ve come to represent everything that, as a former photojournalist, continues to fascinate me and makes me question about the still image. They don’t fit into my academic dossier, but without these images, I would not have made the work I’ve made in these past 7 years

Transcolorations

Transliteration (n) – to represent in the characters of another alphabet

Transcolorations stem from my efforts to translate digital color science into physical forms.



Through the processes of rendering a series of ICC (International Color Consortium) Profiles – documents and standards that define how computers represent, interpret and process color data – into three-dimensional space, they effectively transliterate color science from bits of data into tangible forms and objects.



As 3-dimensional objects, the works give form and structure – weight, mass, volume – to the abstract notion that computers need to define color. Taking on formal sculptural qualities, the works balance elements of science, data and visualization to show the viewer that color remains relative, even in the absolute binary of digital data.



By digitally photographing the rendered shapes inside 3d visualization software, they become separated from their referential usefulness and are translated into pure expressions of color, shape, form and light. Without any absolute references to the physical model, they begin to ask questions of where the data originated from, and how our relationship with (and understanding of) the data can change our perspective on how we view and interpret.

Vertex

Vertex takes the work from Transcolorations and abstracts it a step further, back into the rectangle of the photographic image.

sRGB (The Colors of the Internet)

Employing modeling software used by photographers and graphic artists to chart the color response of monitors, cameras, printers and similar digital devices, sRGB (The Colors Of The Internet) brings a digital concept and notion into physical existence and space.

As a digitally modeled (and produced) form, the small, 3d printed sculpture serves as the reference – an ideal of the shape and representational structure – of a physical representation all of the colors it is possible to display when viewing images that have been converted for, and transmitted over, the internet.

Since a residency at the Slade School of Art in 2015, I have used the unique opportunities of artist residencies and commissions to explore various translations of this model, using the studios, tools, equipment, and conversations unique to each residency/situation to produce “site-specific” translations of the sRGB color model.

2015 Slade Summer Residency (London, UK): I commissioned a factory, over the internet, to produce a hand-made and enlarged, inflatable version of the work.
2016 Station North Arts & Entertainment District Commission (Baltimore, MD): I created a suite of 3 photographic prints based upon the original 3d-printed master.
2017 LA Summer Residency (Los Angeles, CA): Working with Otis College’s Model Shop and master fabrication team, I used high-end CNC tools to produce a highly-accurate sculpture out of MDF and epoxy.
2018 Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT): Breaking down the shape into its 6 dimensional axis views (X, Y, Z, -X, -Y, -Z), I cut panels to match the footprint of the shape, and then painted them in the primary colors corresponding to their Lab model axis.

Through their transformations from the digital into “real” space, it undergoes a process similar to how images (all visual content) are uploaded, encoded, transmitted, decoded and viewed over the internet. By presenting both the “original” object in conversation with its interpreted siblings, parallels are able to be drawn between form and interpretation, questioning the presentation of content and how technology and transmission can influence our viewing experiences.

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Jon's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.