Helen Golden: Signs of Intelligent Life

  • ©2003, Helen Golden



    Signs of Intelligent Life


Creation Year:



    36 in x 56 in


Artist Statement:

    I currently make art all the time, obsessively and happily and at the core of my being. I am compelled to create art. Regardless of the media I am using, the goals are always the same. I endeavor to create art that will go beyond surface representation to get to the spirit of the idea.

    Although the inspiration for the images is often photographic in origin, the resulting art is mixed-media work that ultimately comes from the synthesis of new digital technology tools with traditional ones such as photography or etching and drawing. I often call this “tradigital” art.

    Working with the computer and its associated sophisticated technologies has enabled and empowered me to explore myriad new ideas and to play, risk, and experiment more with them. As all media interact and collaborate with the artist, I find the serendipitous dialogue and the rich possibilities inspiring.

    The deep satisfactions that I get from being the agent of the transformative process (making something new out of something else) lured me into recent explorations in which I have collected color and black-and-white newspaper photographs and then digitally collaged fragments taken from them.

    In these four images, I used the computer to reassemble and abstract the photos so that they emerged beyond recognition, and so that the black and colored halftone dots of which they are composed became my “brushes” and elemental structural material. I fabricated new images from those components by layering, stretching, re-configuring, and re-coloring them. The source images are subsumed but remain as an armature for the newer abstracted ones that emerge.

    I wanted to go beyond the surface representation of the “stories” that I started with, and I worked to get to the essence or the deeper defining aspects of the images. I used Altamira’s Genuine Fractals software to take little bits of information and turn them into much larger re-sized images, and the software changed not only the dimensions but opened up and expanded previously almost unseen particles and pieces. Seeing those fragments enlarged my ideas about the original experience (which are already pre-filtered through the lens of a camera) and let me move in unexpected and unrestricted directions. That itself brought me close· to visually representing the feelings I have about the fragmentation of our experiences and the shifting patterns of our lives.