jpeg de01

Copied Thomas Ruff, jpeg de01, 2005, chromogenic print, 109 3472 34 in. (278.8184.7 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Sarah and Gary Wolkowitz, 2010.55

Artwork Details

Title
jpeg de01
Artist
Date
2005
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
109 3472 34 in. (278.8184.7 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Sarah and Gary Wolkowitz
Mediums Description
chromogenic print
Classifications
Keywords
  • Disaster
  • Landscape
Object Number
2010.55
Research Notes

Artwork Description

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 9/11 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

Gallery Label
Following the events of September 11, 2001, the internet quickly became the largest and most accessible repository for 9/11 imagery. For jpeg de01, Thomas Ruff downloaded a digital photograph of the destroyed World Trade Center buildings and enlarged it beyond the limits of the original low-resolution file. The towers appear to disintegrate into a patchwork of pixels that frustrates our attempts to see the image clearly and suggests the inconsistent nature of collective memory.