CGI: hyperreality


I ended my post yesterday by suggesting that when we look at these two images, we don’t feel we’re getting a report from the real world. I thought that this was due to the clarity of the images - their lack of ‘noise’. Yet their intense clarity still suggests a reality, just perhaps not the one we’re used to seeing.

Demand’s complex practice provides much material for art critics, because it seems to question so many of the preconceptions about photography. His process is particularly unique, and provides us with an almost perfect example of hyperrealism in practice.

Consider this definition of hyperreality, by self-confessed hyperrealist (great to have that on your CV, huh?) Dennis Peterson:

“By process, Hyperrealism often takes a reality, substitutes a false simulation of it, then improves the false image beyond reality itself.”

Demand uses found photographs, creates models from them, photographs the models and destroys the original. Reality twice removed, and in its place a seemingly neutral, photoreal depiction of the lost original. The photograph serves as the most concrete evidence of the existence of it’s subject matter - a subject matter that now seems more remote than the photograph itself. So, Demand filters ‘reality’ through these prisms to create a hyperreal 'original’ version of itself, as seen in Embassy 1.

As I’ve already suggested, La Mairie shares many visual and conceptual qualities with the processed, filtered reality of Embassy 1. Yet, crucially, HenFre’s CG model shows us an essentially ‘raw’ state - a basic, unprocessed model, itself a ‘false simulation of reality’. So, perhaps the starting point for a CG model such as La Mairie is hyperreality - a sharpened, clarified version of a non-indexical source.