Penelope Umbrico
Penelope Umbrico
Signal to Ink

Signal to Ink is a narrative told through the photographed and the photographer. It navigates between physical space and screen space, between concrete reality and ephemerality; between heaviness and lightness; between emission and reception. It tells a story about presence and absence, being neither dead nor alive, but somewhere in between.
 

Signals Still is a set of images of the screens of TVs for sale on Craigslist. As the substrate on which one sees the image, the screen both sifts and registers the result of the sift. I was drawn to the TVs that were turned on but expressed no image, only signal. Emitting eerie light, they are present but mute, they hum or hiss but tell no story. I wonder what invisible signals are received and projected, what necessary signals are sifted out by way of the medium's inability to register the sign.
 

Signals Still / Ink (Book) is a B+W book of these screens printed on thin newsprint at 125% ink density - the ink sits heavily on the page and rubs off onto things. When you hold the book, it rubs off on you and you leave a mark on it.
 

With its dense darkness and materiality, this printed version of the screens points to the first medium of high volume image reproduction – ink on paper – registering the messiness and instability of this medium. 
 

Ink (Book) / Out of Order is a set of unique books made from the overprinted pages from the production of Ink (Book). The uncut signatures, odd juxtapositions of pages "out of order", too much ink spreading across the images (in places obliterating the image of the screen entirely), registration marks that seem meaningless with the disarray of unmatched pieces, are all a result of the printing press' idiosyncrasies – the voice of the machine. Un-bound (set free, so to speak), these pages create hybrid screens - puzzle-like geometric compositions that further abstract and disrupt the ideologies they represent.  
 

Ink - Out of Order are archival inkjet prints made from scans of these mismatched pages for Ink (Book) / Out of Order