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Review: Andrew Norman Wilson/Document Space

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Going online, Andrew Norman Wilson combed through the pages of Google Books, culling out mistakes that had not been caught, downloading those defective frames, and printing them as separate photographs. Sometimes the fingers of the “scan operators” who photograph the books make it onto the virtual page, and sometimes the software goes on the fritz and produces effects similar to what one sees in a funhouse mirror, or decomposes the image or turns it into a patch of color reminiscent of a Mark Rothko painting. From an aesthetic viewpoint, when the miscreant software runs amok on picture books, Wilson comes up with exuberant abstract expressionist images, and it doesn’t hurt when they are deconstructed by a fingertip. From a sly documentary perspective, photos of latex-gloved hands pressing down pages show us the laborious process that constructs cyber-space. Indeed, Google fired Wilson from his position as a video editor after he realized that the scan operators were second-class employees who didn’t receive the benefits that the company brags about, and started poking around. Now he has let the ScanOps poke back. (Michael Weinstein)

Through July 28 at Document Space, 845 West Washington, third floor

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