I Wish U Were here is a consideration of the things that shape our perception. Using personal experience as a starting point, the book uses photographs and writing to explore the depths of experience and how they affect what we can know through looking.
Zachary Ayotte is a Canadian artist, photographer and writer. He was born in Yellowknife, NT and raised in Edmonton, AB. He currently lives in Edmonton.
My work is grounded in the act of looking. I am interested in what information we get from our sense of sight, what we can truly know from looking at something, and how these questions relate to the ways that we engage with bodies across space.
The idea of an asymptote (two lines that get closer and closer to each other but never touch) acts as a persistent metaphor in my work for thinking about the things that exist between us and knowledge. Through this lens, I think of a body (the physical structure of a thing) as both a point of engagement and as a form that mediates engagement (an interface). Because interfaces allow a kind of connection, they imply access and intimacy but they are also a means of translation and as such, maintain a level of obscurity. I engage with this obscurityby interweaving personal photographs and experiences with constructed images, allowing ideas of fiction and documentation to bleed together.
In addition to writing, which plays an important role in my practice, I primarily use forms of mark-making that rely on light, sound and movement in space. In using the term mark-making, I am attempting to broaden its definition to include things such as: looking (both as a form of input and output), listening, thinking, speaking, sound emissions, time, temperature and movement. This expanded definition reflects my interest in things that affect mind, body, surface and space but are not explicitly tied to the hand, physical contact or visibility.