Arnold, Robert F.
Digital access to this material is pending artist's approval. Materials may be viewed onsite at the Goldsen Archive, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Kroch Library, Cornell University.
My artistic work emerged from a fascination with the material process of making (and unmaking) things, which eventually led me to sculpture. I began working in film and video as an extension of my work in sculpture as I became increasingly interested in the relationships between formal elements as a source of meaning and tension. My first film was about the space between two characters in which a relationship emerges as a result of the interaction of their separate images. Once I started working with film I became fascinated by the basic illusion of movement which results from the relationship between similar still images projected in rapid succession. This fascination led to a series of works based on pre-existing (found) still images, such as travel postcards, which could be recontextualized in flip-book fashion to achieve a convincing illusion of movement while maintaining their status as autonomous stills. The tension between the still and moving image has become a persistent theme in my work aimed at activating a critical perception of certain aspects of pop culture defined by redundancy and consumption. While addressing these formal and critical issues, I aim for my work to be engaging, to recreate for the spectator a sense of wonder at seeing familiar images come to life in movement as if for the first time, while also opening a space for critical reflection on the nature and function of visual representation.