On Frieze Magazine, James Bridle shows Justin Berry’s Stone Shields (2012) – an image taken from the game Medal of Honor – and compares it with Anselm Adams’ 1968 photograph El Capitan, Winter, Sunrise, Yosemite National Park, California.
It doesn’t carry any obvious signs of digital manipulation, but it bears out Adams’s famous remark: ‘You don’t take a photograph, you make it.’ Stone Shields is a composite of screenshots, created within the virtual world of the first-person-shooter video game Medal of Honor: its landscape is entirely digital. It is a composite of composites, as every pixel has been rendered from millions of lines of code and pre-existing textures created by the game’s designers, captured within the experience of the game itself (one notorious for its violence and militarism), and ultimately manipulated by Berry. In its artifice, it reveals all the artifice of image-making itself.
in his ending remark Bridle aligns the construction of the image through the camera medium and the textured digital image making process:
photography itself is a construct, and all images contain the mechanics of their own making.