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Spot the Sniper, one ream French paper with Risograph print, one ream Xerox paper (white), 2016.
Two reams of paper are presented in Spot the Sniper: one blank, the other sourced from a recent phenomenon that circulates under the same title online, one that aims to test viewers' ability to identify snipers from their landscapes. The snipers are impossible to see, hidden in shrouds of digital camo and leafy nests, made further invisible by the low-res quality by which the images typically circulate. A number of websites and forums, even a video game, are dedicated to this sport, and even after the sniper is pointed out -- usually by a large red circle Photoshopped on top -- they remain invisible to the untrained eye. The relative unease this elicits -- the inability to know whether one has been duped, the realization that snipers might be hidden in plain sight, the impulse to trade amateur spotting for expert -- also reflect how mystery, and the promise of reward, propel unstable relationships between imagination and reality. Mirroring one another in size and stature, the two stacks evoke a similar sense of frustration, humor, or even terror. They are both nothing and something. They point to the artifice of the image and the relationship between image and object. And they present two sides of the same coin, the camouflage of mere ordinary-ness, the other digital realness.
Exhibited in: The Systems They Have Loved, curated by Anne Cross, Recitation Gallery, Newark, DE; Lost in Transit, SOIL Gallery, Seattle, WA; Horror Vacui, curated by Elysia Borowy-Reeder, Argus Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI; and A Body Has No Center, curated by Ricky Yanas, TSA Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.