Robert Tarbell
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Diagnostics
In the Diagnostics series, popular misconceptions about the Rorschach Inkblot test collide with the act of viewing and interpreting art. Diagnostics present, suggest, and reference the ink blot test imagery while engaging in processes that alternate intent and accident with the recreation and preservation of the ephemeral.

Diagnostics originate from Generators, works that combine elements of the parlor game “Ghost of My Friends” with the responses from the Rorschach Inkblot Test. In “Ghost of My Friends”, an artist signs their name in ink and then folds the paper underneath the signature. The resulting image is then interpreted exposing revelations about the signer. In the Generators, the Rorschach Test responses used to evaluate a test subject are inserted in place of the signature in “Ghost of My Friends”.

The resulting ink images are recreated using smoke captured on paper. The smoke is controlled and intentionally manipulated while still allowing and encouraging its feral nature to create random markings. Smoke suggests a clouding of thought or presence of a trick, which compounds the perception and interpretation of the suggested imagery.
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