Sunday, November 18, 2012

Versluis | Behrens Collaborative Bugs

Yellow Jacket Digital Collage (2012) © David Versluis & Roy R. Behrens
Many months ago, coincident with the New Year 2012, my fine friend David Versluis (a Dutch Master) and I decided to try something. He has a collection of Iowa bugs (dead ones) of which he made exquisite scans at high resolution. He began to send me the scan files, one at a time, with the challenge that I should respond to them by beginning to build a digital montage, using Adobe Photoshop. I could do whatever I liked. Then I would pass that back to him, in response to which he'd make a move—and pass it back to me again. And so on, usually with five or six back-and-forth turns, until we mutually came to suspect that the work was finished. So that's how we proceeded—with a beetle, a cicada, a dragon fly, and other creatures, including (here) a hornet (which, in the end, was discovered to be not a hornet but a yellow jacket wasp). I can't recall how many of these montages we made, but in a few short weeks we ended up with a substantial and interesting series. Posted above is a gif (pronounced jiff) animation of the stages in our process for the collaborative yellow jacket (the stages are not in the order, I think, in which the piece evolved). The final stage for this montage (which was recently selected for a national juried exhibition) is posted here.