This is Dek Unu Magazine. In Esperanto, dek unu means "eleven." Eleven images from a single artist. Eleven artists in eleven solo issues in each publication year. Dek Unu publishes the work of a new artist-photographer in each issue. The artist's work and words are featured in individual focus as the sole purpose for each issue of the magazine. Unlike other arts and letters magazines which might look for work from a variety of artists to support an editorial staff's theme, at Dek Unu, theme and imagery are always each artist's own.
Since the first photographer combined optics and chemicals to “draw with light,” there has been confusion and conflict about whether the output was “art.” It’s likely that every disruption to the photo status quo has been greeted as inadequate, inauthentic, and destined to die. Color would never have the punch and power of Ansel’s black and white. How could that 35 mm Leica compete with a proper 50-pound view camera? Who could possibly want to use a telephone to make photos? Digital would never compare to analog. Whatever happened to pre-visualization? Who made this photo, you or Photoshop? And now the turbulence is all about the artificial intelligence "revolution."
Unless noted, all images
©Diana Nicholette Jeon
Although many may be threatened by AI, there are some who are thrilled. This month’s featured artist, Diana Nicholette Jeon, is one of those. In her career, she has been through wave after wave of technical change, critical uproar, and eventual resolution and she sees the AI revolution as just another wave. Part of the surface appeal of current AI apps is that they routinely turn out wild, surreal, and sometimes surprisingly “arty” images; but Jeon rejects using AI to turn out “insta-Van Gogh and insta-Picasso” results. She treats AI image-making tools as a new and challenging way to generate material for her unique and already mature conceptual and aesthetic framework. Her challenge is to find ways to use AI tools to make images that fit her personal style, that connect to her life and experience, and that continue to tell her own story. The work in this month’s portfolio gives us a look at both the artworks and the process behind the product — the patience, intelligent experimentation, and, often, the fun that are the components that Diana mixes together to make images that are very clearly her own and very clearly extraordinary.