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Mark Dorf’s ‘Axiom & Simulation’ Photo Series

Mark Dorf photography

Axiom & Simulation examines the ways in which humans quantify and explore our surroundings by comparing artistic, scientific, and digital realism.

As a developed global culture, we are constantly transforming physical space and objects into abstract non-physical thought to gain a greater understanding of composition and the inner workings of our surroundings. These transformations often take the form of mathematical or scientific interpretation. As a result of these changes, we can lose all reference to the source: when the calculated representation is compared to its real counterpart, an arbitrary and disconnected relationship is created in which there is very little or no physical or visual connection resulting in questions of definition.

Take for example a three-dimensional rendering of a mountainside. While observing the rendering, it holds a similar form to what we see in nature but has no physical connection to reality– it is merely a file on a computer that has no mass and only holds likeness to a memory. When translating the rendering into binary code, we see just 1’s and 0’s – a file creating the representation from a language composed of only two elements that have no grounding in the natural world.

After all of these transformations, a new reality is created – one without an original referent, a copy with no absolute source. When comparing these simulations and interpretations of our landscape within a single context or picture plane, ideas of accuracy, futility, and original experience arise.

Mark Dorf currently resides in Hudson, New York where he creates his images and continues to study the fields of photography and contemporary art.

Mark Dorf photography

Mark Dorf photography

Mark Dorf photography

Mark Dorf photography

Mark Dorf photography

Mark Dorf photography

Mark Dorf photography

This post was contributed by photographer David Strohl.

  • http://www.herzco.com Beth Herzhaft

    This is strikingly similar to the work of John Pfahl, who did his most well-known work in the 1970′s. This work is so similar, in fact, that it is disturbing.

  • Jerry Brooke

    I think that the work may be aesthetically similar at times but the conceptual means are quite severely different. Pfahl worked a lot with illusion while this has basis in digital renderings, science, and even math at times. It may be unfair to write this off as an imitation so fast without further speculation on concept.

  • http://www.herzco.com Beth

    Pfahl worked in analog because that was all that was available in the early 1970′s when he did this series. For all we know, he might have used digital to make the images were it invented at the time. But no matter what the technology it looks really really similar (my opinion)

  • Jerry Brooke

    I wasn’t talking about the method of image capture… that is totally irrelevant. I was speaking about the content of the images — the concepts at play.