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His family, nature and fantasy are the main inspirations behind his photographs. Barry Stone is an artist and university professor who helps the new generation of creative people to find a voice through the understanding of their inner selves. Glitching is a technique he uses a lot with the aim of distorting our perceptions of reality. Having recently shown his work at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery in the Lower East Side (the new cool NY art neighborhood dethroning Chelsea), and with more exhibitions ahead, we decided to talk with him about his technique, motivations, family and future plans.
Every photographer shows his or her view of the world through the lens. How do you want to picture this world? What do you see through your lens?
For me making pictures offers a sense of possibility, a useful misreading, a fiction that lends a structure to experience and, therefore, to memory and expectation simultaneously.
Nature appears to be one of the main themes in your work: flowers, clouds, landscapes, the moon... Why do you find these elements so inspiring?
I make a lot of pictures of liminal spaces like clouds, the coast, or sites of fantasy, but also of banal places that appear to be fantastic. I am drawn to ephemeral circumstances. I like to play with scale and inversions, where the super moon is a tiny dot, caves contain blue mountain ranges, and chandeliers are suspended from cloud-strewn ceilings.
You combine regular photographs with glitched ones. What’s the reason behind this mix? 
For me photography lives in the precarious balance between what the index portrays and the fantasy of its contrivance. Databending (or glitching) photographic information complicates the portrayal of our observed circumstances, not to "reveal" the constructed nature of photographic images but to hint at a kind of possibility of error, a generative misreading (which the material itself can render due to its own digital "liquid intelligence"). The glitched pictures make the straight ones appear all the more strange. I choose images that may seem glitched even though they are not, so it entangles their readings. That way all the images, whether glitched or not, are steeped in their digital “materiality”.
In fact, some of the glitched photographs are modifications of the “regular” ones, and sometimes you exhibit them together. What do you want to achieve by doing so?
Digital objects are super-malleable. An audio file can be easily converted into a photograph or a sculpture. Digital pictures, like language, are just information. So it’s fun and interesting to continually transform images and render many iterations, and reveal this to the viewer by having them generously placed together side by side in a space.
You’ve recently had an exhibition, The Future of Things Past, at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, in which you talked about the impulse to create one’s own history time, and about existentialism through photography.
This group of works is an extension of my first solo show in NYC back in 2005, Your Name and Mine, which was a meditation on the beauty and the anxiety of starting a new family. Experience and image making both inform and distort one another. Since my imagery is both "straight" and "manipulated" my perception is often simultaneously an expression of invented memories and diminished by picture making. The title of the show comes from a famous quote by the early Christian philosopher St. Augustine, where he said that our notions of past, present and future time are more properly stated as the “present of things past, memory; present of things present, sight; present of things future, expectation.” Photography is the perfect embodiment of this sentiment.

Following the theme of time, the exhibition shows together two pictures that are self-referential: the first one –shot ten years ago– depicts your wife Ann looking through a window; the second one depicts her reading on the bed while your daughter looks through the window. What are the stories behind each picture, and the relationship between them? 
Ann in the picture by herself was pregnant with our first kid, but we did not know that at the time the picture was taken. Her hand is distorted through the curtain, which makes it appear doubled. This image was in my first show at Klaus in 2005. This summer I made a picture that was strikingly similar in pose except for the baby, now 10 years old, who is standing at the window as my wife looks on holding an e-reader. So much has changed in these ten years, and children, of course, offer hard evidence for the passing of time.
In 2008, you founded the artistic collective Lakes Were Rivers. The artists conforming LWR make work related to photography, they exhibit it (both individually and collectively), and publish limited-edition books. But, what did unite all of you in the first place? What things do you have in common?
When I lived in New York City, I attended a critique club. It was a kind of support group where we shared work, gave and received feedback and invited others to share work with the group. When I moved back to Texas, I needed more than ever a community of photographers to discuss images with. There were a lot of talented folks here in town, so I approached them at openings to see if they wanted to get together to share work. Lakes Were Rivers was for many years a critique club and then, naturally, started to put shows and books together. We are all pretty different photographers, but we share an intense enthusiasm for the history of the medium and its contemporary discourse.
Texas, California, Virginia, Washington DC, Maine… You’ve travelled quite a lot through North America to take pictures! Is there any state (both in the US or in Canada) you haven’t been, but would like to? 
There are so many places I have not been. Most summers we take a big road trip from Texas to Maine. It would be great to travel the West Coast of the US this way. I am excited this summer to be teaching in Florence (Italy) for Texas State University. I have photographed in the UK, but not many other places outside of the US.

Could you share with us one anecdote of any of these travels? 
As a family we have returned to the same house in Maine for the last five summers. When the tide goes out, it reveals an alien field of seaweed that, when walking upon, feels like treading on the bottom of the ocean in the open air. At high tide it all disappears again. There is a Commons nearby where one is invited to fashion fairy houses from natural material harvested from the forest floor. My oldest daughter was 6 or 7 when we first visited and was utterly enchanted by this prospect. She really wanted to believe that this architecture would be occupied, but old enough to sense it was fantasy. Such a utopian impulse that I readily identify with, and motivates my picture making.
Besides being an artist, you are also an associate professor at the School of Art and Design at Texas State University. What is the most important lesson you want your students to learn? What advices do you give them?This is a italic
I think it is important to understand what your context is and know it inside out. There are many art worlds and different ways to navigate them, but without an understanding of how your own voice fits within a historical and contemporary discourse, you will find it hard to define and therefore achieve your own sense of success.
We’ve seen that you started the year with an exhibition. Do you have more scheduled during the rest of 2016? What are the most immediate plans you have?
I am planning a show in the late summer/early fall in Bogotá (Colombia), and a solo show for the spring of 2017 at Art Palace in Houston, Texas. Lakes Were Rivers is hoping to do some events promoting our new book, Swan Cycle, Chapter Three, in the US.

Arnau Salvadó

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