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CLOSE-UP: FILE SHARING

Cover of Artforum 43, no. 8 (April 2005).

OVER THE PAST DOZEN OR SO YEARS, the artists who made the most of new technologies were often those who least knew how to use them. I count Kelley Walker among this group. Around the turn of the millennium, he, like many of us with a Mac, a scanner, and a printer, was trying to get his head around how such tools were quietly revolutionizing our contemporary image culture by making pictures easier to produce and reproduce than ever before. At first he used his scanner as it was intended, to capture words and pictures on paper. He would import images from advertising and photography yearbooks, then add simple digital marks in Photoshop, a program he employed with greater curiosity than skill. Before long, he came to think of the scanner as a new kind of camera and proceeded to assault its glass bed with skeins of toothpaste, heavy bricks, and blots of chocolate, images of which

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