Jeff Baij

Jeff Baij does not provide a lot of information on himself which, as we discussed in class, i found to be an interesting comment on the availability of information on the web. What I have gathered from looking at his work is that he is a digital artist who uses the Internet as his medium. His work includes GIF files, sound bites, text and sound collages, photoshop images, and several interactive pieces, to name a few. I was particularly intrigued by his latest GIF files (3/7/11), which reminded me of MRI brain scans that quickly morph into imploding and exploding brains, respectively. I found myself mesmerized by its simultaneous clarity and ambiguity.

Baij’s work to me seems to cater largely to the viewer, whether it deals with viewer interaction, as in ANIMALMIXUP!, the manipulation of visual information to control our perception of the work, or the actual reaction of the viewer. He seems to be establishing a method of communication with the viewer. That said, he often leaves the viewer wondering, what exactly is it about his work that makes it art? Much of what he does deviates from what we expect to be seeing from a working artist. A large portion of his work appears to be rudimentary exercises in photoshop, as with Animals Made of Things, in which he creates animal shapes using (what I assume to be) preselected prints in photoshop. However, a large portion of his work is quite complex, such as hisĀ  GIF and mp3 files. What I think is unique about his work is its novelty. Yes, some of it might seem rudimentary, but what is exciting about it is that he is one of the first to present what you can do in photoshop in an artistic context. Furthermore, Baij interacts directly with the viewer in a humorous way. My favorite example of this was Shitty Food in a Gallery. Baij pictures some debatable looking concoctions, then adds gallery-style lighting which ultimately glorifies the shitty food. Overall, Baij’s work struck me as uniquely creative and quirky.

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