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Sarah: Hi everybody. Today we have Lauren Zoll in our studio, uh, so we're very lucky to have an artist here with us to discuss the "Off" highlights. Lauren, what did you think?   Lauren: Incredible. Like, they weren't off, they were on.    Sarah: [laughs]   Sarah: So Lauren and I talked a while about how we were going to discuss these highlights, because a lot of them are so great that you should really go to our blog or our Tumblr and look at all of them and see them, because some of them aren't necessarily that interesting to discuss, but they're just wonderful to look at. So Lauren, what is the first thing that stands out to you about these submissions?   Lauren: So I guess in my work, I'll focus on the screen and I'll zoom in onto the screen and not make an issue of where it is, cause it's usually in my studio. I've gone out in the field sometimes, but in these, here, they really express where that person is.    So for example, musingsofmaura, she shows us multiple perspectives. And this is my favorite part of it. So they have this screen shows one space and suggests a gaze or a frame to look at, but there's an interjection of a whole 'nother context or space. We see three perspectives almost.   Sarah: Right. It's not a flat image. It's creating this three dimensional space--   Lauren: Yeah.   Sarah: --in a 2D image.   Lauren: Yeah, so, in the round. And that's one of the first things you learn about in a sculpture class is, how can we go in the round and not have a frontal view, or it shouldn't have a back to it but that we can see multiple things happening at once.   Sarah: So one thing I thought was really interesting with these images was that it would be a scene reflecting a really boring space, like an intensely boring space with beige walls, but the image itself was fascinating. It was like this contrast between a super boring space but then what would happen when they'd actually try to do this assignment, they'd find some really interesting views.   Lauren: Yeah, I mean, suddenly seeing your ceiling is fascinating because, you know, that's the reality you're in, so we're getting all of these extra contexts.   Sarah: One of the great things that happened with this assignment is that some people, a lot of people actually, expressed surprise at what they discovered when they actually tried to do it. They thought something would be interesting, and then they tried it and it wasn't, but then they tried something else that was maybe a reflection of their ceiling, and all of a sudden it was something interesting.   Lauren: The idea of taking a photo of a blank screen is fascinating to them, and then there's other people who think, "Why am I going to take another image of the exact same image?" And I think both of those people decided, I mean it's not about the duplicity of the image, but it's about the vision and the perspective it evokes.   Sarah: So one of the images that Lauren and I both responded to was this one by anywiebs. What did you like about this one?   Lauren: I liked how this person decided that they're going to show us where they are by this other way of showing us, and therefore it kind of gives this emotional feeling or this, like, response to the work where it was -- it's so different than if they were to take a photo of, um, what the North Sea photo is showing us.    Sarah: With a lot of these where someone is sightseeing, and I'm looking at them, at their hand, holding a screen, reflecting what's behind them, I feel like I'm there. I almost feel like I'm inhabiting their body in a way that I don't feel with just like a straight photograph.   Lauren: It's like the action of seeing or the phenomenon of seeing. When you look at photographs, it has the potential to replace your memory of it, so your memory becomes the photo, and this is kind of a reversal, or, um, it actually is activating your thinking, so it's asking you think about the future instead of the past, about the total rounds, the total space.   Sarah: What's happening in front of you and behind you and to your sides.   Lauren: Yeah, yeah. And some of the images, they're kind of offering us this night during the day.   Sarah: Yeah, it reminded me of the filming technique day for night, where you're able to achieve the effect, the nighttime effect, during the day, um, through lighting tricks.   Lauren: What a lot of people did in their work is they found simplicity. When they show light or color it's really formal, so you have a formal shape that's full of color, and I think that's what they're showing and that's why we're finding them radically beautiful.   Sarah: Yeah, it was interesting to see, like, what minor amount of detail could make for a successful image, you know, it -- whether it was just dust and scratches, or fingerprints, or one blurry colorful blob on the side. It was interesting to see, like, when-- when the screen actually became something productive.   Lauren: What I've been realizing is that it's not necessarily about reflections at all, but it's about the, um, mystery in seeing, or the phenomenon of seeing because you could see one thing one day and the next you'll see it in a completely different way.   Sarah: Mmhmm.    Lauren: And I think that this assignment is an articulation of that. How do you see? What does it look like when you see?   Sarah: I can't say it better than that. Thanks for coming, Lauren.   Lauren: Thank you.   Sarah: And thank you for making such great responses to this art assignment.   Lauren: Fantastic!   Sarah: Continue! Continue doing it and posting your responses with #theartassignment.