Drop Shadow

Jan Robert Leegte

April 26, 2020artist contribution,

In Drop Shadow, Jan Robert Leegte uses facial recognition to evoke formal responses through mirroring. The technique of facial recognition is often used commercially to identify the user to collect data for advertisement purposes. In a political sense, mirroring can be used to correct behaviour. In this work it is deployed to formally mirror you with an intangible object, namely an element of the standard interface. The interface has always been a battleground of expectation and response, and as such is also a mirroring medium. In this work, the drop shadow, an ornamental carrier of content, has been pushed forward to perform a ‘pas de deux’ with the user, resulting in an interactive sculpture that also alludes to the real-time presence of the interface surface and the deeper systems behind it. There is a real-time input and output of our mirroring, a reality usually hidden behind the pseudo-static appearance of the interface. The work also refers to Minimal Art, due to the focus on materiality. Although there is immediately a crux, since it also invokes elements of illusionism. Drop Shadow uses a stock image of a generic gallery wall, made in 3D software, taken from the internet. After slightly dissolving in JPEG compression, the wall shows a dancing simulated shadow. The work shows a theatrical evocation of the idea of minimalism and of materiality, something that happens constantly in our daily interaction with interfaces. This contribution is part of the publication and research project of Open! about sense of touch in the digital age.

Please check out this link for Jan Robert Leegte's Drop Shadow.

Jan Robert Leegte, Drop Shadow, screenshot
Jan Robert Leegte, Drop Shadow, screenshot
Jan Robert Leegte, Drop Shadow, screenshot

Jan Robert Leegte (born 1973, The Netherlands) started working as an artist on the internet in 1997. In 2002, he shifted his main focus to implementing digital materials in the context of the physical gallery space, aiming to bridge the online art world with the gallery art world, making prints, sculpture, installations, drawings, and projections, connecting to historical movements like land art, minimalism, performance art, and conceptualism. As an artist Leegte explores the position of the new materials put forward by the (networked) computer. Photoshop selection marquees, scrollbars, Google Maps, code, and software are dissected to understand their ontological nature. Leegte lives and works in Amsterdam. His work has been exhibited internationally (Whitechapel Gallery, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, ZKM Karlsruhe). He is currently represented by Upstream Gallery Amsterdam.