Artists’ Statement

Stephanie Hafer and JJ Hill-Wood


The First Appearance of Things

The First Appearance of Things is a collaboration featuring JJ’s street photographs and Stephanie’s text translation experiments.  It’s an exploration of what happens to images and words as they are processed, from their initial human expression, through a digital treatment. 

For the photos, the first piece involved printing each image on Polaroid film.  The second piece includes the same images but with layer upon layer of color, contrast, and exposure edits.

For the text, we took a quote and translated it repeatedly (bringing it back to English between each translation) using Google Translate.

We wanted the quote to be relevant to both the human experience and the future.  Ultimately the words we chose were from Matthieu Suiche, a computer hacker, talking about his friend and fellow hacker Barnaby Jack who was found dead earlier this year.  Barnaby Jack was considered a “white hat” hacker, meaning he used his skills not to cause trouble but to find the weaknesses in different programs to help make them safer before those with malicious intent could do harm.  

This piece is as much an experiment and exploration as it is an homage to those who are crazy enough and brave enough to use their talents to help others. 

All iterations of the quote are displayed alongside the two framed pieces to show its evolution as it passes through 13 different languages (French, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Icelandic, Greek, German, Dutch, Thai, Turkish, and Latin).


September 2013