For a long time I wondered how could I visually express the materiality of the digital image. By being converted into a notation of zeros and ones, the digital image seems to lose almost all its materiality. The solution I found was to dwell on the printing process of digital images. I ran several tests until I found a printing surface that did not absorb the ink, using inkjet printers. The result showed full-color digital images as composed of pigments which, when mixed on a wet surface, had a fluid appearance.

I came to this result in the middle of a semester in which we studied the writings of Clement Greenberg, in the group that is currently the Research Laboratory of Philosophy of Photography. I was interested on the difference between three-dimensional space and pictorial space in modernist painting. Three-dimensional space is the space in which physical objects exist. It is the possibility of creating the illusion of a three-dimensional space that Renaissance painting mastered with the development of perspective. The three-dimensional space, however, is not essential to painting, but to other arts that deal with three-dimensional physical objects - such as sculpture and architecture. According to Greenberg's interpretation, in the self-reflexive turn of modernity, painting moved away from the illusion of a three-dimensional space and sought to create a space that would be its own. The paradoxical solution of the modernists was the creation of a pictorial space that would not be mistaken for the three-dimensional space of physical objects. Modernist paintings would allow the perception of the forms created by the arrangement of colors, but also the two-dimensional surface in which the colors are arranged as paint. To achieve this aim, the painting had to show itself as paint over surface.

Through Greenberg's ideas I noticed that we are currently living a certain irony of history. Photography, from its creation, in many moments, sought to distance itself from painting, in order to constitute itself as an autonomous art form. Now, almost two hundred years after its creation, photography in its most ordinary form, such as printed digital images, became - from an ontological point of view - indistinct from painting. Both are now paint over surface. It is this irony of fate that the work Paint over Surface seeks to explore.

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