jpeg de01

  • Thomas Ruff, jpeg de01, 2005, chromogenic print, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Sarah and Gary Wolkowitz, 2010.55

The events of September 11, 2001, have left an indelible mark on the physical and emotional landscape of the United States. Television, print, and web-based media outlets were flooded with photographs and video of the collapsing Twin Towers in the days following the attacks. The Internet quickly became one of the largest and most accessible repositories for 911 imagery, inspiring the work of German artist Thomas Ruff. For jpeg de01, Ruff downloaded a digital photograph from the Internet and then enlarged it beyond the limits of the original low-resolution file. The result is an unsettling and unfamiliar representation of the now iconic World Trade Center site. The towers appear to disintegrate before our eyes — a patchwork of pixels that frustrates our attempt to see the image clearly and suggests the inconsistent nature of collective memory.

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2011

jpeg de01
Not on view
109 3472 34 in. (278.8184.7 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Sarah and Gary Wolkowitz

Mediums Description
chromogenic print
  • Disaster
  • Landscape
Object Number
Research Notes
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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