Collaboration, Featured Artist

Scan It Don’t Shoot It, Q&A With Gem Barton

Scan It From Gem Barton 1

So Scan.It… what motivated you to create this project?

You’re probably thinking, ‘why bother, my digital camera gives me much more freedom.’ And you’d be right. The scanner has many inherent restrictions; size, plane, frame and orientation to name a few. But I see these limitations as a challenge and as an opportunity. Faced with these given formalities, I am pushed to be more creative, this in turn can generate much more dynamic responses. In the face of adversity and all that.

So I developed a series of techniques that allow me to manipulate the capture of ‘reality.’ What I love about this process is its similarity to analogue photography…and the excitement you feel whilst waiting for the image to process on the screen.

Scan It From Gem Barton 2

How would you explain the difference between a scan and a photograph?

In my years as a design tutor at various universities, I have had to explain many a time, why taking a digital photograph of a scale drawing is not acceptable. The key word here is ‘scale,’ photographs do not always hold their scale but scans do. This ability of the scanner to capture detail + accuracy appeals endlessly to my architectural bent.

Scan It From Gem Barton 3

Why does it matter?

It allows you to capture things that cameras can’t.
It allows you to manipulate the image whilst you are taking it rather than relying on digital techniques post production.
If gives you very surprising results in spite of its accuracy.

Who is Gem Barton?

designer, curator, lecturer, writer; explorative and straight-talking Brit.


Why should someone participate?

Firstly, it’s a really fun project to engage with and secondly there is a great opportunity for exposure; I will be showcasing my Scan.its alongside some selected submissions for an exhibition in Brighton, UK in August, there is also talk of an accompanying publication.

Must they be an artist?

Absolutely not — I’m not.

Great, I’m excited to be taking part in this project… everyone, check out Scan.It here!


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