Dillon Petito is a senior at Gallatin concentrating in contemporary and digital art history and theory. He is interested in digital vernacular culture and platform-based artistic practices. His research tends to examine the translation of bodies and space in and out of digital forms.
Is a series of digital paintings made with Snapchat for iOS. The paintings reject Snapchat’s primary use as a photographic platform and instead treat the photograph as a necessary canvas for gestural painting. The title refers to two common touch-screen gestures that have emerged as subjects of various patent wars over the past decade. These same gestures constitute the process of making the paintings, which includes resizing layers of emojis and painting with Snapchat’s brush tool. The composition holds the banality of the photograph, the familiar touch-screen gestures of the brush tool, and the atmospheric effects of the enlarged emojis. Still, the paintings in Pinch, Slide are unavoidably amateurish, as they have been made using software intended for amateur use. Their enlargement, categorization as paintings, and re-contextualization to the gallery space is both self-verifying and embarrassing.