- Contemporary Visual Art for Human Rights -

Kyra Schmidt

Posted on October 12 2016

Transcriptions series is the result of a work which concerns the ontology of the photographic medium and that can be summarized as an exploration of how technology aids us in our navigation of the everyday

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I am constantly captivated by the enduring capacity of photography to give form to new experience and new sensations, to challenge common perceptions by embracing the medium's inherent, slippery discursive spaces. - K. Schmidt
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Kyra Schmidt is an American photographer from Indiana born in 1993, currently living in Bozeman, Montana. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Photography at the University of Southern Indiana. 

Transcriptions series is the result of a work which concerns the ontology of the photographic medium and that can be summarized as an exploration of how technology aids us in our navigation of the everyday, and affects our physical and psychological perception of the world around us.

The entire series is a conceptual evaluation of representation of the landscape, an exploration of the interaction between our natural and manmade environments.

Combining digital tools and landscape photography Kyra Schmidt superimposes prints with images of the landscapes within which they were created as a way to ground each piece to its origin. By focusing on the surface of photographic materials and light, time, chemical, and digital interactions, this work explores the integral features of photography in order to reveal new ways of experiencing the visual, material, and ephemeral aspects of environment. As the same artist says, she collaborates with each environment using natural elements to produce views that are outside of our perception, only made visual through camera-less photographic recording processes.

Through this practice, that in its results we call “digital installations”, Kyra Schmidt uses the transformative power of photography and the elements of nature to reveal vistas and connect the viewer with an increased consciousness of the landscape.

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L.A.: Kyra, what does photography mean to you, what is your statement as a photographer?
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Kyra Schmidt: Photography, for me, is a way to see the world anew. It is a way to learn, to experience, and to communicate. I am interested in photography's transformative powers and in its ability to mediate new experience. In my work, I hope to use the medium as the message in order to open things up to a multiplicity of meanings to present views that are outside of our limited perception. 
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L.A.: What's your degree of involvement with what you are shooting?
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Kyra Schmidt: I find I work best when I focus on one large photographic project at a time, immersing myself fully into the discourse that I am pursuing. The "Transcriptions" series has been in progress for a few years now and it was not until recently that I began to sense its completion. During the times that I need a break or creative inspiration I often read, painting, or shoot around for fun. I believe in experimenting and pushing my project to extremes. I would rather go too far and then return to what I know versus not exploring enough. Besides, I find that it is often happy accidents that lead to the most successful ideas.
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Rat Lake, Montana │ Buy it
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L.A.: Can you tell us a little about your "Transcriptions" series? What led to this project?
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Kyra Schmidt: This series began with the desire to challenge preconceptions of photography by presenting camera-less imagery as a representation of place. The work has transformed into an investigation of representation of the landscape as a means to propose alternative ways of experiencing a place. By focusing on the surface of photographic materials and light, time, chemical, and digital interactions, this work explores integral features of photography in order to reveal new ways of experiencing the visual, material, and ephemeral aspects of environment. I use the natural environment of each site to produce camera-less imagery while simultaneously exploring both the macro and micro vistas of a place. Prints are superimposed into images of the landscapes within which they were created as a way to ground each piece within its site of origin. In this context, I hope to present views that are outside of our limited perception and only made visual through the inherences of photographic recording processes.
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L.A.: What do you hope people see, feel or understand when they look at your images?
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Kyra Schmidt: Ultimately, I want the viewer to be able to experience the sensation of each place as I was so lucky to do. I hope that the camera-less prints can be understood as another way of seeing- as a transcendence from the representational through the visual of an ineffable realm. I encourage the viewer to make associations that stretch the imagination while also considering how the phenomenon of light onto light sensitive material can record the world before the camera’s lens. At its mechanical, material, and chemical foundation, the photograph can offer a poetic reiteration – traces of objects and places that-have-been.
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Basin and Range, Idaho │ Buy it

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The Spanish Peaks, Montana Buy it
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L.A.: Can you discuss your process for making these images or your creative process more generally?
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Kyra Schmidt: While working on this series I often begun by hiking or essentially “getting lost” in the landscapes. Often times I would walk hours into the wilderness, observing the nature around me and the way light would pass through each space, only to photograph and make prints on my return journey. Of course the morning hours are the most beautiful for me, yet I enjoy experimenting with how the photographic materials react and manifest in different environmental conditions. I am always surprised by the result and what the camera-less print allows me to “see”. I shoot and make several images in each place then find the perfect compositions or juxtapositions for them in a post-edit of what I gathered.
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L.A.: Lastly, what are your future plans/projects or aspirations?
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Kyra Schmidt: I plan to graduate with my MFA in the Spring of 2017. Post graduate school I will continue my exploration of the photographic medium and begin working on some exciting new projects. I have several projects in mind ranging from a series rooted in Feminist theory to one that will explore the way image and text combine to create meaning. I also would like to continue my studies in art theory, as well as launch my own business down the road.
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Skidaway Island, Georgia Buy it
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Tobacco Root Mountain Range │ Buy it

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BUY IT NOW View Kyra Schmidt on Gallery
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Kyra Schmidt www.kyraschmidt.com
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