Painting’s Facture and its Digital Translation

Chris Worfold Part of CW18

Analogue painting is a form of chirographic picture making which is indexical to the artist’s gesture. Photo imaging technologies are commonly used to reproduce paintings, representing them as digital images. However, this reproduction process results in the loss of painting’s material facture. In this sense digital images are not reproductions of analogue paintings rather they are tokens for them. Increasingly audiences are experiencing paintings indirectly via token digital images, where the uniqueness of the sensory encounter with a painting’s facture; its mark making, materials and scale, is removed. This paper investigates the discourse surrounding the digitisation of analogue painting and identifies attempts to digitally translate painting’s material facture.