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On the Media

Sylvia de Swaan | New York, United States

Keeping it Out, 2001/07

The submitted diptychs are from a series entitled “On the Media” that explores the intersection between public and private domain, and how politics and world events reverberate in our lives no matter how far from the “action” we are.

I’m interested in the construction of narrative and how meaning is created and altered through juxtaposition and editing. I take pictures with a film camera then scan the negatives to create hi resolution digital files. Though I don’t in anyway alter the content of the images, I use Photoshop to pair sometimes totally unrelated scenes to create small cinematic Haiku that speak of my personal concerns and the world we live in.

"On the Media" was begun on 9/11. It is about terror, surveillance, mass media, popular culture, post-millennial anxiety, dual realities, shadowy threats and ominous rumors.

I’m an unaffiliated photographer who has lived and worked in Mexico, Europe and the United States. I develop long term personal projects that explore issues of memory, identity, roots, displacement and loss; the tidal waves of history that alter our personal lives, the news of the days, the neighborhood where I live....also the act of seeing, awareness and being in the moment. I’m interested in the construction of narrative and how meaning is created and shaped through juxtaposition and editing


My work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the New York State Council on the Arts, Art Matters Inc, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Arts Link, Aaron Siskind Foundation, Light Work, New York Foundation for the Arts, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Austrian Ministry of Culture, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Constance Saltonstall Foundation and Hamilton College.

I'm presently looking for support to continue a body of work on normal daily life in Mexico against the backdrop of the Drug Wars




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