SAMSTAG ALUMNI 2008

Tracy Cornish
Born 1973, Adelaide, South Australia 

The internet, the ultimate self–organising system, is both subject and transmitter for Tracy Cornish who began exploring the connections between art and science when the limited nature of available theory on process–driven photography became obvious during research toward her PhD. Quantum physics, specifically in areas of complex systems and network theory, and the non–linear connections between many systems, became her tool in uncovering the data codes and patterns which are now the platform for her art. 

She sees the evolution of photography as an allegory for the evolution of information culture. In [photo:fugue], DVD sequences transmit photographs as pure information, rather than as objects, with a soundtrack also created by digital translation of image scans into frequency. Cornish suggests her work process is half planned and half self organising, a feature of any complex system where the process may dictate the outcome. 

Emission glitches is a moving field on a grid of colour, with blurry sections which randomly form, coalesce, resolve, and then dissolve once again into part of the grid. It is a physical representation of computer glitches, giving "form and function to programming errors – presenting them as artefacts"1. It is also meditative, colourful, arresting.

Pixellated information is also the subject of dissolve, which was made via the transfer of static photographs into coloured fields. While the imagery is information–based it reads, as do many abstracted images, like landscape of sorts. Its circular image dissolves and resolves into areas of light and dark expressed through colour change. 

Fittingly, and in accordance with her belief in self–organising systems, Cornish has presented her PhD on a wikiwebsite, allowing users access to comment, edit, and interact with her ideas, but also giving the audience tools and methodology to critique her new way of working with photography. While her work is displayed in conventional galleries, Cornish also credits her You Tube and flickr sites as a major source of exhibiting opportunities and feedback.

1 Tracy Cornish, Samstag Application, 2007 

Louise Martin–Chew from her Samstag essay, Alternative Realities

2008 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship
2008 Research Scholar, University of California, San Diego, USA 
2006 Doctor of Philosophy, University of South Australia, Adelaide 
2001 Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours), University of South Australia, Adelaide 
1999 Advanced Diploma Applied & Visual Art, North Adelaide School of Art, Adelaide 

Artist's website
http://tracycornish.com/