Joseph Labate
Playa #1050015-2331Playa #1050059-2457Playa #1050064-2547Playa #1050071-2492Playa #1050081-2301Playa #1050129-2525Playa #1050162-2368Playa #100172-2365Playa #1050178-2318Playa #1050194-2328
Playa 2015
These works are process-generated landscape studies created from photographs made in the spring of 2015 while an artist-in-residence at the Playa Artist Residency program in Oregon.

Located at the northwestern edge of the Great Basin in south-central Oregon, PLAYA sits at the base of Winter Ridge, which rises to 7,200 feet. Summer Lake is directly to the east of PLAYA, which lies at an elevation of 4,200 feet. Summer Lake, 20 miles long and five miles wide, is a playa, a seasonal desert lake. It is shallow in the winter and evaporates in the summer.

This works examines and explores the landscapes of Playa. I made digital photographs while wandering the landscape and also collected objects I found while doing so. I brought the found objects into my studio at Playa and made digital photographs of them there.

Using a computer with Photoshop, the final pieces are constructed by combining one landscape photograph with one photograph of the found objects. For me they are both familiar and strange, faithful representations of my experiences during the residencies.

This work is typical of the research I began when I moved from analog photography to digital photography. I am interested in the dynamics of that change. What has changed? What remains the same? By making work in established photographic genres – in this case “landscape” – I am able to examine and question the impact of digital technology on the medium of photography.