Aaron Rothman: Signal Noise


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, between real and virtual, and between the world and how we perceive it. Interspersed views of desert mountain vistas and dense forests, made with fallibly perfect photographic clarity, anchor the work in the space of the physical world while also casting doubt about what is real and what is a figment of photographic, perceptual or human alteration.


Aaron Rothman has a BA from Grinnell College, an MFA from Arizona State University, and held a Research Assistant Fellowship at the Lacoste School of Arts in Lacoste, France. His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, University of Virginia, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Cheekwood Museum of Art, Phoenix Art Museum, and Gitterman Gallery. His work is represented by Rick Wester Fine Art in New York.


Curator Cassandra Coblentz has a diverse curatorial practice that champions the artistic process. She is currently Senior Curator and Director of Public Engagement at the Orange County Museum of Art where, most recently, she curated the 2017 California Pacific Triennial: Building As Ever and authored its accompanying catalogue. Prior to joining OCMA, Coblentz served for seven years as curator at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. She has also held appointments at the Hammer Museum, DIA Center for the Arts, and The J. Paul Getty Museum. She received her BA in Art History and English from Cornell University and her MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.