Name:

Catherine M. Weir MFA Computational Studio Arts; BA (Hons) Photographic and Electronic Media

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Research Student

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Composed under Electric Stars (2013) Locative iPhone Application.
Catherine's work

Composed under Electric Stars (2013) Locative iPhone Application.

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Catherine M. Weir

The Digital Index: Creating immediacy through the integration of digital photographs and captured data.

Supervisors: Nicky Bird, Susan Brind, Daisy Abbott


Recorded directly from life, the photograph is an image with a special relationship to its subject: an indexical connection setting it apart from other ‘iconical’ modes of representation. Generally understood to be a physical quality – the result of light interacting with sensitive chemicals coating the camera’s film – the index has been identified by a number of writers as the unique quality of photography which affords it such sway over the viewer.

However, many of those same writers who believe so fervently in the indexical quality of the analogue photograph argue that that very nature of its digital successor precludes the possibility of an indexical relationship with its subject, it being not an imprint of light but ‘information storage’.

This stance has too often led to claims that the digital photograph is somehow less authentic, less immediate and less evocative that its analogue predecessor – a view I believe is untenable. With the growth of digital imaging technologies a need has arisen to consider new definitions of the indexical trace applicable to the specificities of digital photography and its distribution structures.

My research, funded by the AHRC, looks at digital photography as a networked practice; and specifically at the relationship between image and data (timestamps, geo-locations and so forth) to ask if such data – an integral part of all digital photographs – can be considered an indexical quality that is uniquely digital. Furthermore, it asks how artists might use such data to create new and evocative readings of their work; and what tools might be developed to build on existing practices.

Selected Exhibitions (Group): 2014 FRAMES, Centre for Contemporary Arts and Merchant City Square, Glasgow (2014)
RSA OPEN 2013, The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh (2013)
NOWHERE 2013, Goldsmiths, University of London (2013)
GOLDSMITHS COMPUTATIONAL STUDIO ARTS, Watermans Art Centre, London (2013)
PRISM, DIRECTED BY KEIICHI MATSUDA, V&A, London (2012)
NOWHERE, Goldsmiths, University of London (2012)
CRYPTA: SILENT MONOLOGUE, The Crypt Gallery, London (2012)
SHOW+ING, SW1 Gallery, London (2012)
NEW CONTEMPORARIES, The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh (2011)
FUTUREPROOF, StreetLevel Photoworks, Glasgow (2010)
GRAY’S SCHOOL OF ART DEGREE SHOW, Aberdeen (2010)

Artwork Brownie Digital featured in: McConnon, N. et al. (eds.) (2013) Digital Revolution, London: Barbican International Enterprises.

Visit Catherine's website: http://www.cmweir.com