72 DPI / by Christine Olejniczak


The images we look at on our phones, tablets and computers are generally seen at a resolution of 72 dots per-inch. That's it.

All images that we see on these devices are comprised of dots. A technological pointellism that filters everything from cute cat videos to the Mona Lisa. As someone who is not very well traveled I rely on the internet to look at art. I have been able to look through the collections at The Louvre, The MOMA, The Getty, The Guggenheim - almost any museum collection I can think of. I have the opportunity to look at the details and get much closer than I could if I was in fact standing in front of the work.

I can look at the work but the scale escapes me. The dimensions are given but it never really registers until you see the real thing. It's all Red, Green and Blue dots.

I don't pretend that the images I see on a screen compare with the actual object but the power of the pieces still translate. I am very much moved by a computer generated reproduction of a Magdalena Abakanowicz sculpture. Being in the room with one of her pieces is a different type of experience that is bigger, better - but I am captivated by what I see online and grateful to have access.

Recently it has occurred to me that my work needs to translate meaning at low resolution. My website gives me a chance to see if the ideas and finished pieces hold up. I find myself thinking about work that is designed to only be seen on the web. The thoughts I'm having about poetry are occupied with this experience.

As a child growing up Catholic I was lectured extensively about prayer. I remember learning about prayers that you think about while you are saying other prayers. The idea was that if your mind wandered you would still be praying. Always the back up plan. The poetry I was referring to is hinted at with everything online that isn't a RGB pixel. All the spaces that we fill up with our own stories, perceptions and interpretations. I'm curious about those spaces and what we think they might mean.