89/91 Sites of Technology
May 17 - July 15, 2008
Gallery Luisotti is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition Lewis Baltz – 89-91 Sites of Technology. Featuring a selection of photographs never previously exhibited in the United States, 89-91 Sites of Technology exhibits work from Baltz’s earliest use of large-scale color photography. Typifying his transition from black-and-white sequential works, to singular color work, Sites of Technology shows Lewis Baltz employing both scale and color to communicate the impersonal atmosphere of corporate and bureaucratic centers of technology.
In the late 1980s, Lewis Baltz completed what would be his final sequential work, the eighty-four piece portfolio Candlestick Point. The portfolio was a poetic rumination on a public landscape that was both wild and in ruins. The images’ silent atmosphere clashed with the noise of refuse scattered across the landscape. What was formally stunning about the portfolio, however, was the use of color in the final twelve images. Candlestick Point marked a turning point in Baltz’s work, from crisp depictions of a man-altered landscape, to saturated views of a culture overwhelmed by its technology.
89-91 Sites of Technology brings together many images from Baltz’s first foray into large-scale color photography. The images all feature the objective distancing Baltz’s work was known for from the beginning. These office interiors, and rooms for experimental technology, are notably devoid of human labor. Their emptiness, and the crisp veneer of color photography, combines to give the images a detached and anesthetic tone. These sites are the background noise of contemporary technological labor. The machinery found in them is at once familiar and incomprehensible. Baltz captures a now antiquated dot-matrix printer atop a lone desk in an empty room. Elsewhere we find a false human head sequestered in an anechoic chamber’s abstract environment. Throughout the images Baltz evokes a sense of distance, between the absent human operators of these technologies, and their necessary place in late capitalist society.