H. Jennings Sheffield is a contemporary artist working in lens-based media, digital video and sound. Her work has been widely shown across the US and internationally as well as featured in numerous publications and media outlets, including: The Print Center in Philadelphia, Houston Fine Art Fair, Lens Culture, Red Arrow Contemporary in Dallas,Texas, Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, Oregon, Living Arts of Tulsa, Visual Arts Center in San Antonio, Texas, The ARTS at CIIS in San Francisco, California, Luminaria and Blue Star Contemporary in San Antonio, Texas, Pingyao International Photography Festival in China, McDonough Museum of Art in Youngstown, Ohio; What Do You Really Need?, Medien Kultur Haus Wels, Austria; and most recently, Viral: Photography in the age of Social Media at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. She is an Assistant Professor of Art at Baylor University teaching analog and digital photography.
MFA, University of Texas at San Antonio
BFA, Atlanta College of Art
We have all had that moment. The moment where you are sitting around a table and a childhood friend, or sibling begins to describe a situation or something that has happened to them, and as the story unfolds, you have to pause. The story they are telling did not happen to them, it happened to you. Or sometimes, we think we can remember a childhood event or birthday party, but we only know who was there or what we were wearing because of the photographs we have seen from the event. What makes a memory? What is our personal memory, and what is collective? In an image-saturated world, this question is getting harder and harder to answer. These are the questions that inspired my latest work The Collective Glitch.
The Collective Glitch investigates the idea of a collective memory and how we recall information. It consists of 10 images built from photographs provided by "a collective." The collective comprised of 16 individuals from twenty-somethings to seventy-somethings from different geographic locations and socio-economic backgrounds. With these 16 people representing myriad demographics, I felt I had a collective. I then requested 10 specific images from the collective--their favorite portrait of themselves (at any age), a photo that best represents their family, fear, home...etc. Some were images they personally photographed, some were images they pulled off the internet, and some were from personal family archives, however, all the images were personal and intimate.
The images that make up The Collective Glitch are created by filtering the 16 images provided by the collective through a modified form of vertical Morse code. I then integrate all the vertical slices to create a single, compressed image.