In the 19th century, the invention of the halftone screen allowed printers to easily reproduce photographs by translating shades of gray into a pattern of black dots that varied in size according to the depth of tone. A close look at photographs in the newspaper shows the same process at work today. In “Tide Pool,” Robert Covington digitally applies a particularly rough version of that antiquated analog mode of reproduction to a moving image, even endowing each dot with the slight illusion of three dimensions. Although the artist’s subject—taken at the famed photographic location of Point Lobos—would be difficult to grasp in a single frame, when viewed in motion with a subtle hint of sound, the graphic abstraction easily translates into an image of reality, thanks to the mind’s irrepressible urge to find order in chaos.


Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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Artist
Robert Covington, American, born 1950
Title
Tide Pool
Date
2016
Medium
Single-channel video
Dimensions
3 minutes, 15 seconds
Credit Line

Museum purchase funded by W. Burt Nelson in honor of Kara Fiedorek

Current Location
Contact MFAH for location information
Accession Number
2016.204
Classification
Film & Video
Provenance

The artist, East Hampton, New York; purchased by MFAH, 2016.