By Cassandra Coblentz
The culmination of a decade of work in the American West, Signal Noise presents an open-ended meditation on our desire to connect with the natural world, and the limits of our abilities to do so. Photographs altered with unconventional digital processing ask us to reflect on the nature of individual perceptual experience and the impact of our collective presence in the landscape. The images in Signal Noise are rooted in Rothman’s response to places familiar and meaningful to him, but his interest lies in the transformative rather than the documentary nature of photography. Landscapes overtaken by digital noise, layering, erasure, amplification and interference examine the blurry boundaries between natural and artificial. Interspersed views of desert mountain vistas and dense forests anchor the work in the space of the physical world while also casting doubt about what is real.