“Art is Research”, Prof. Paul Hester, Visual and Dramatic Arts

I think art is a research process; making visual artifacts is a form of research. For example I take photographs to find out, to discover, to test what a situation will look like in a photograph. The experience through time that we all have—walking around, sitting, looking—goes away, but the photograph freezes it. I like to take photographs of what’s happening to me at the moment, the perceptions that I’m having, the experience that I’m having, to see how I can represent that in a photograph.   Driving over here, I was sitting in traffic. I was late, and there was a car in front of me and the slope of its rear window and the angle of the sun was creating an enormous bright hot spot, right in my face. Instead of complaining about it or honking my horn, I pulled out my iPhone and took three or four pictures of it to see the degree of which the extreme contrast, the very extreme contrast, the very extreme brightness of the light and the darkness of the trees on either side, how that renders.