"When you come to a fork in
the road, take it...."


Although this seems to be a rather innocuous statement, the creative challenge it presents is indeed quite daunting... especially if there are multiple forks! Hopefully throughout my life I have made some wise choices as to the direction my creative and photographic path has taken. It seems that the creative process should be at least a little bit fun and certainly rewarding. Hopefully the body of work that is represented in this portfolio reflects some of those characteristics.

I find it immensely enjoyable to play with ideas and when it comes to play, why not use toys? I'm not sure I've totally grown up... I would much rather receive toys at Christmas than grown up "things". Fortunately, those around me seem to humor me on this account... in fact, three years ago, my parents gave me a second Erector Set for Christmas (the first set was probably over thirty-five years ago). I also find it fun to go to toy and hobby stores and look at all the neat stuff and then think about how to incorporate it into a piece of art.

The Mr. Fixit series was the first attempt to create fantasy objects that started life as traditional photograms of the individual Erector Set pieces. These parts were scanned into the computer where the items were cut and assembled to create the final object. As the process evolved, it seemed rather amusing to create devices that contained some absurd function i.e. a machine that would saw off the legs of the table it was setting on. The environments that I placed these "devices" into were basically pieces of fabricated reality that had some resemblance to a home's interior.

As the work progressed, I began to think about the concept of believability or at least the possibility that these constructions might actually exist in life as we accept it. With this thought in mind, I began the Automatron series in which the created piece was incorporated into a photographed scene. A sense of scale was also an issue in the finished image and by using a building or other familiar man-made object, the viewer could draw some spatial conclusions in relationship to this new, unknown visual stimuli. With the reality factor, these items are placed into a context that the viewer must interact subjectively and intellectually ...will they accept, reject or just enjoy these artists' toys.

The digital imagery has made something that would be rather difficult if done in the darkroom into a fairly easy task. It is my goal to use technology as a tool and not a way to create some strange abstract photographic piece by using sixteen filters and then skewing it into oblivion. The computer has given me a new creative palette to have fun with not something to overshadow my abilities. I am still the one that decides which fork to take!

I exist in cyberspace as narnia@bradley.bradley.edu or in my web page http://gcc.bradley.edu/com/faculty/walters

Dallas Walters