The point of digital baptism and re-entry into the online archive is evidently a key one for Richard Mason as he commemorates it through a strict titling convention which runs across all of these various iterations: YYMMDDHHMMSS. Taken from the automatic labelling implemented by digital cameras, this formula references the moment in which a work was translated into pixels. For example, 160728154134 came into being as a final digital image on July 28 2016 at 15:41:34 pm.
A consequence of this is that it is a futile endeavour to attempt to read Mason’s artworks through their titles as these are lengthy numerical strings and tell us nothing about the content. Instead what is key about the title is that it commemorates the exact moment (like a time of death) where Mason decided to cease alterations of the physical manifestation and to immortalise its state in a digital counterpart. Like a kind of death mask, the digital version would presumably decay differently to the physical version and outlive it. As an example, 160728123635 exists simultaneously as both a 1500mm x 1000mm screen print on aluminium (with masking tape, spray paint and 2K clear coat overlays) and a flattened 900 x 600 pixel JPEG at 72 dpi in the online archive. The ‘real’ 160728123635 hovers somewhere in the flow between these two materialisations. And indeed it would be a mistake to put too much emphasis on individual works in isolation, Mason’s project clearly lies in the ‘in-betweenness’ of viewing his extensive body of work en masse. As George Kubler puts it, “Actuality is when the lighthouse is dark between flashes… It is the void between events”.4glitching during the priting porcess.'
Richard Mason, 2017