New York City Mayor James J. Hylan and Judge Kennesaw Landis, Commissioner of Baseball @1923edited, Alyssa Laurel Ringler, 48”x18”, Giclée print + Instagram, 1923+2019

Blue Ridge Sanatorium, Building No. 1923, East side of State Route 20, .25 mile south of I-64, Charlottesville, Independent City, VA @1923edited, Alyssa Laurel Ringler, 48”x18”, Giclée print + Instagram, 1923+2019

Minnesota League of Women Voters @1923edited, Alyssa Laurel Ringler, 48”x18”, Giclée print + Instagram, 1923+2019

Newbery Vote, 1/21/23 @1923edited, Alyssa Laurel Ringler, 48”x18”, Giclée print + Instagram, 1923+2019

Posted on: April 19, 2019
Views: 1497


Edit challenges the viewer to consider how they encounter contemporary imagery through a series of physical prints accompanied by an Instagram feed. At 12:00am on January 1, 2019 the copyright of an enormous trove of material from 1923 including books, music and photographs expired. Historical artifacts are an edit of history -because all photography is subjective- but the absolute truth of documentary artifacts is rarely questioned. In Edit, each Library of Congress image is given a contemporary context by being incorporated into a larger scene full of current photographs taken by the artist, providing the artifact a situational position in the current moment. The collage uses physical techniques such as cutting and splicing and leverages changes in scale to emphasize the tension between the old and new. A rejection of clean lines and precise Photoshopping enables the viewer to consider the act of the edit. Portions of the collage are redacted by black squares suggesting that there is more to the work than currently revealed. The viewer can search for the missing components with the Instagram handle @1923edited to find the redacted squares and "complete the piece."

Alyssa Laurel Ringler

View ProfileConnect

MFA Student

Major: Photography

Graduation Year: 2019

Artist Statement:

I constantly think about how the proliferation of devices and our increasing reliance on screens has affected language, judgment, and compassion. My work emphasizes the point at which we have the opportunity to engage with technology, ask questions, and seek better standards. We navigate new forms of communication – texting, social media, and digital journalism blindly and retroactively try to understand its power and influence. Our comprehension of digital content is inadequate. Technological innovation can occur in conjunction with a preservation of cultural ideals such as civility and meaningful communication but only if we become conscious of its implementation.

The speed at which we scroll or click through screens leaves little time for a discerning eye. As an image abundant society, we have become desensitized to photographic manipulation and the de-contextualization of what we look at. In this modern age, we learn about and form opinions of the world and society based on what we see on screens. My work invites the viewer to be physically present yet engaged with their smartphone. Utilizing Instagram and Photoshop paired with collage and redaction I challenge the viewer to seek out more information and context than can initially be seen. This participatory element highlights the distinction between seeing in the digital realm versus in the natural world, while providing the viewer a way to claim agency over how they see. As technological innovation subtly changes our behaviors, exercises like this give an opportunity to pause and reconsider how we can integrate technology more responsibly.