Artist Profile: Bunny Rogers

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Sister Unn's, 2011

A lot of your work seems to explore the transitional moments of adolescence into adulthood through sexual introductions like Dotyk and Waiting for Anne, as well as through sentimental mementos like the embroidered letterman jackets of Sister Jackets and even the webpage Dad’s Big Socks. With this type of memorialization, there’s also this recurrent fascination with animals as self-identifying symbols: Bunny Rogers, PonesA Very Young RiderLambslut, etc. I wonder where these animal identities intersect with this loss of naïve youth and what your relationship to them is within these transgressive adolescent shifts? Why concentrate on the prepubescent stage? What role do animals play within this shift? 

I am interested in deconstructing the comfort felt regarding how we view the transition from girlhood to adulthood.  I do not think I concentrate on the prepubescent stage, at least in the biological sense of the word. When my work is categorized with that term it sets up a discussion of a socially-familiar understanding of what [female] prepubescence means, the definition of which is confusing and contradictory. We build value systems based on that understanding. These terms are applied in an assessment of my work and me. Some of my works try to make these terms unstable, by questioning how we arrive at them. The challenge is how to broaden the grounds on which these concepts are positioned as is evident by the limitations of phrasing we have even when trying to interpret the works investigating these concerns.  I see a lot of overlap in mass culture’s sexualization and exploitation of children and animals. 

i.e. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hix7Ie-IlYU [Dance Precisions / Single Ladies / Pomona]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RP19fnff_c [The Chipettes - Single Ladies [Put A Ring On It]

This ...

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Artist Profile: Sami Ben Larbi

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Parle moi je t'écoute, 2006-7

Fiction, history and reality are constantly being intertwined throughout your work. How do you balance the phantasmic with reality? How do these techniques propel or help understand the history and politics in works like As it might, could, did happen and Was Bourguiba, then Ben Ali, awaiting the next

The balance is very vague and I keep it so as long as possible. I want the viewers to find their own balance.

When Bourguiba first came to power, he was hailed as a savior, a liberator of the oppressive French. Images of him where everywhere. He cultivated that cult, just like any other dictator and was able to hold on to power for a long time. The fiction of the liberator was trying to negate the reality of living under his reign.

In my work I ask the viewers to consider what is being presented, to form their own understanding and opinion. In As it might, could, did happen, I recreated a bedroom (with furniture made of cardboard and wood imitation vinyl) in what was a East German Pioneers boarding house. The furniture looked almost authentic, but not quite. It played with the pre-conceptions of how East German furniture looked cheap and homogeneous. But the environment was real. So the balance here between fiction and reality is very flexible.

In one of your project’s statements you describe the struggle with your identity as the following: “I want to be this icon, this Frenchness, while also being who I am a mix breed, neither one nor the other. Arab, but French, but American, but becoming German?”

With this, works like, La distinction entre un carthaginois et un hexadecagone, au subjonctifLayered Tense, and Pictures I wish I had are attempts at contextualizing ...

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Artist Profile: Jordan Tate

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Study for New Work #151 (2012), Jordan Tate

In New Work #90 you capture the animated dotted selection lines common in Photoshop and present them as an animated image themselves. This feels like your bringing part of the interface used to make digital images into the final piece. Do you think the visuals of operating systems and software have made an aesthetic impact on digital works at large?

Absolutely, yes. I think this relates to a broader discussion of process-based or self-reflexive works that are indicative of a new modernist inquiry into technology as a medium. In many ways, this is a specific contextualization of many theories of the New Aesthetic but tied to role of process in understanding our relationships with these media, their implications, and functions.

Since 2009 you’ve framed your work as ongoing research concerning the “visual and conceptual process of image comprehension.” You’ve also done some experiments trying to produce animated GIFs as lenticular prints - taking the digital GIF into physical space. Have those experiments been successful and has that process changed your understanding of digital image processing?

They have been very successful, as well as some other processes intended to translate screen-based works to physical prints. I am currently working with Atelier Boba in Paris on a few other processes that address in some fashion the interaction with viewer and object. Our current project is an attempt to create UV triggered inkjet prints that shift over the course of small periods of time (3 weeks – 6 months) in response to their environments.

I am also in the production phase of a manual that details the experiments and process of the lenticular printing, the UV triggered inkjet, and the other various processes I am working on - that will be open-source and available soon.

Historical ...

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Artist Profile: Hannah Sawtell

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Hannah Sawtell, Swap Meet (Ijen Mix) Optic, 2012

The images that you show most often have digital origins, whether combined and assembled into one image, transformed into the surface of a physical object, or edited into sequence as moving image. What is the importance of using digital images (and sound, in the case of your films) as opposed to their analog predecessors? Are your sources always culled from the Internet? If so, do you gather them systematically? How do you refine the selection?

The images, textures and surfaces I reconstruct or redeploy are sourced from the ‘contemporary global arcade’. When my work considers the internet, it is to think of it as at once a tool that presents access to a commons, and also a globalised shop, the ‘autocracy of choice machine’... images/sites are bought by multinations, searches made first fall on what the engines have as priority, the majors are all linked, many of the interesting images disappear as websites go down, and there's matters of copyright and how the virtual is policed, etc… with all this in mind and the fact that as I say this, it's outdated, I follow streams to find the right tone for the work. Talking formally, the different pixel or image qualities give a porous or dense cadence to the video or collage. It’s the same with the sound in the videos. It is edited, leaving the glitches at the edge to force the screen to represent the materiality of digital production or cut and paste editing. I use what I have access to...ideas of access are obviously a moot point with regard to global social economics and therefore the possible agency of the collaborator, actor or author.

The industry and economy of objects seem to figure into ...

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Artist Profile: Laure Prouvost

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Before, before, 2011

Works like IT, HEAT, HITOwt and The Artist—among many others—approach storytelling through frenetic, non-linear progressions and cuts.  Narratives seem to emerge spontaneously from what seems to be your immediate environment without much premeditation.  Why is it important for you to develop language this way? What is lost or gained through such fragmented communication?

Anything that is not shown has to be imagined.

So here I am answering these questions, in the middle of the woods on this lovely Sunday afternoon on top of a beautiful big tree, water running beneath me…I shouldn’t drop the computer. Now it’s up to you to imagine how I got up here, the colour of the leaves and the smell in the air.

The condensing of films is a way of relating to our experiences, of the multiple textures we constantly have to deal with and how our brain constantly has to edit for us. The fact that a lot of the footage comes from my immediate surroundings is just me looking at what is around me – then I can start to create a story around, say the bread on the table, or whatever. It is a chance to look at things closely and then differently, to imagine things in another way.

Nothing is normal.

But sometimes it’s completely constructed environments as well, like in, The Artist.

Regarding editing: An image can generate different meanings depending what you see after or before it. This is what triggers associations, connections and eventually narratives and this is the potential in the editing that I love. Spontaneity is also important for me. I need to make mistakes. If things are controlled and pre-determined then often I am not happy with what I am producing.

Problems bring new levels ...

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Artist Profile: Antoine Catala

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In a statement for your 2009 exhibition "TV Show" at 179 Canal, you described television as a dying medium, suggesting that the work in the show was a kind of eulogy for TV. Television is a recurring theme in your work, but you’ve used it in various ways, both as a material and as a subject, often taking the most familiar types of programs—the news, for instance—and altering the way we see it. What is it about television that appeals to you? Are you interested in defamiliarizing something we take for granted, forcing the viewer to reconsider its place in everyday life? Is this work reflecting a sense of nostalgia for television’s past? If it’s a dying medium, what do you think has replaced it?

TV is no longer the all-powerful medium it used to be.  It’s dead in the same way radio is dead, whereby it only occupies a peripheral position in our lives. Internet is the new place, because it encompasses words, images, videos, audio, as well as the viewer’s participation.  The internet packs more information; in that sense it’s more HD than TV and that’s what people go for, the better, more fulfilling, more entertaining medium.

I was interested in TV broadcasts initially because I thought it was funny to bring live TV into the museum or the gallery.  In my TV work I encourage the use of any entertaining program.  However, screening an episode of Spongebob (a personal favorite) doesn’t work the same, in an exhibition context, than say the news or any program with live content. That’s because the viewer’s common assumption is that if a video is shown, it must be pre-recorded.  But I am not at all interested in working with ...

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Artist Profile: Ed Fornieles

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Could you tell me a little about your "Facebook sitcom" Dorm Daze? How long did the narrative play out on Facebook? 

Dorm Daze was a performance conducted on a self-contained network on Facebook. Participants inhabited profiles scalped from real life American college students, which over three months were developed within a semi-scripted narrative - through interaction with each other and direction from me. 

In general, social networking sites reward engagement with engagement, and those characters that invested most time within the community became the lead roles of the sitcom. The exciting thing for me was watching these local narratives develop, feeding into and accelerating the narrative as a whole. Further, playing out the sitcom over three months gave opportunity to bring in real world events; for example, one character became very involved in the Occupy movement, propagating within our fictitious environment at the same time as these events were kicking off all around the world. In fact series one ended on a cliffhanger when a group that evolved out of the occupy movement blew up Wells Fargo bank and took to the road. 

Important also is that Dorm Daze was a piece in itself, but also a content generating system which has created material I’ve then been able to use in sculptural and installation works, brought together in the show The Hangover (Part II). Beyond these physical environments, the project has also spawned a book and a read only version of Dorm Daze 1, soon to be available for limited time only online. Recently, we’ve also begun talking to a TV network about the potential of turning it into a TV series. The point that this happens, the point that Dorm Daze becomes part of a cultural feedback loop in a very real, tangible way, is the point where ...

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Artist Profile: Mike Ruiz

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Extended Bliss, 2010. Digital C-print

In many of your works (Blank is the New BlankReplacedExtensionsAuto-CAD Freestyle) you utilize chance operations to simultaneously demonstrate the creative successes and failures of software and technology.  The calculated spontaneity of generative systems such as the Content Aware Fill or the Roomba, become exposed through their capacity to adequately finish or begin an artwork.  Your works highlight the novelty of these systems and how they algorithmically output formal expression.  Could you speak more about this automative process and the motives behind working this way? 

 I am interested in automated improvisation. I design situations in which an artwork can take place. Often time what I am asking from the technology is something it is not intended to do. So there is a collaborative process between the automated tools I employ and myself.  I am interested in co-authoring works--arriving at traditional media such as drawing, painting, prints and sculpture0--with various consumer forms of artificial intelligence...

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Artist Profile: Kate Steciw

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Anima, Animal, Beheaded, Candle, Chocolate, Cloak, Carnal, Darkness, Deity, Dreamlike, Gradient, Headless, Heparin, Ignite, Ignat, Lament, Occult, Partial, Pink, Smoke, Smokey, Smother  (Kate Steciw, 2012)

Your photography and sculptural installations use image manipulation, often resulting in disconcerting perspectives. What is it that draws you toward "making the photograph 'other'" as you write in your artist statement?

I guess this impulse comes from a drive to reevaluate the predominant media via which so much of our culture is produced and disseminated. The conceptual drive in the work both online and off, two dimensional and three, has a lot to do with the ways in which photography creates appetites for physical objects that are then fulfilled to varying degrees of success or failure by the objects themselves — in particular, commercially manufactured objects. In a way, I see the objects and materials I use in the sculptural work function as images themselves. Similar to the tools used in Photoshop or other editing software, many of the objects we interface with on a daily basis come with prescribed uses. I believe that hidden in these prescribed uses are assumed ideologies that through misuse, omission or recombination can be revealed, reconsidered, or at the very least, interrupted.  

Popular Options (Yellow Diamonds in the Night) at klausgallery.net shows a Flash animation of the most searched Google items in 2011. Those searches offer a glimpse of zeitgeist. What in particular are you approaching with this montage?  

In Popular Options, my aim was to access a kind of snapshot of a culture via its preferences — a time capsule generated by the desires of a population rather than it's aspirations. I wanted to let what we were searching for coalesce into a singular audio/visual experience. While aesthetic decisions were made for the purposes of continuity or ...

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Artist Profile: Juliette Bonneviot

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Your works bring together many strands of visual culture. Your paintings, for example, interpose art history, design, the natural world, and gaming. What does your image research look like? In a recent piece for Rhizome, Karen Archey wrote that your sensitivity is emblematic of the internet age, where all images are created equal. Do you think your work is affected by this characteristic of the internet? Does it mirror it? 

Yes, I think my work mirrors this characteristic of the internet age, which also is reflected in and conditions my research process.

This conditioning applies not only to images but to information in general, I treat the two as the same. This flattening of values allows me to make art historical and sociological connections that scholars wouldn't necessarily consider making. However, I don't view my research process as a new thing relevant only to the internet age.

I'm also interested in comparing the idea of wandering through images and informations on the web to Walter Benjamin's idea of the flâneur and his experience of modernity. The term describes the experience of leisurely walking through urban space while observing various aesthetic and sociological patterns in the XIXth century Paris.  

Recently I came across an article by Evgeny Morozov called "The Death of the Cyberflâneur," adressing this same parallel with Benjamin's flâneur and explaining how the cyberflâneur would disappear for similar reasons as those of the XIXth century flâneur—the internet becoming more and more enclosed in the world of social media, shopping activities, or separated apps. Benjamin also explains how the flânerie got caught in being conditioned by the economy and the market when the recently born commercial strategies of that time started using the flâneur and his casual attitude as a marketing tool. Benjamin notices ...

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