Extended Bliss, 2010. Digital C-print
In many of your works (Blank is the New Blank, Replaced, Extensions, Auto-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...
Low Epic, 2011
Your identity/brand is split between multiple internet presences. There is definite cohesion between the works on your artist website and your Tumblr, but your illustrations seem severed and separate. Google image searching you, your comics and illustrations actually appear more frequently than your other work. In Auditions you briefly meditate on identity association and representation on the internet and I’m curious as to how you intentionally shape this identity. How do you approach self-design?
The way I think is fairly contradictory so it makes sense that the works would emerge that way as well. I question how satisfying maintaining a strict, programmed artistic identity would be in the long run. Making art is for me very much a form of learning. I will gladly sacrifice cohesion if it means that I can explore larger fields of knowledge.
I've been uploading works to various internet contexts since I was 16 and can accept that I cannot control their circulation. I do contemplate the way I represent / have represented myself online but I can't completely dictate my "brand" anymore. I appreciate artists who are able to maintain a cohesive image, but I don't think I could be / would want to be one.
A lot of your image work utilizes 80's and 90’s aesthetic and culture as a jumping off point. From the midi backing tracks heard in your How To video series, to the gradients, colors and photoshop brushwork found on www.dawsonscreek.info, where do you place nostalgia, irony and sincerity throughout these works? Where do these begin and end for you?
Irony and nostalgia are difficult terms. I think of irony as snarky non-commitment and nostalgia as uncritical sentimentality. It feels unsafe to connect them to my own work. I ...
I'm A Wiz With Computers, 2011
In Web Presence, you password-hack your deceased father’s gmail account and display it in the gallery on a computer, logged-in, as an ‘available to chat’, contact. The work is a loose ontological study of sorts, referring to both life during and after existence in the form of an always preserved online presence. It also demonstrates another way that aura sustains itself in digitally mediated space. Is this more than just sentiment? How do you confront or deal with the permanence of identity online, within the archive, etc.?
It’s definitely more than sentiment for me because it’s about sentiment. I was actually hesitant to make the piece initially because I didn’t want it to be perceived as a strictly cathartic exercise. For me, it’s about a few things. It’s about these records of ourselves that exist online. It’s about the way time is represented online. And it’s about attempting to do something that can’t be done. We can’t communicate with people who’ve died. They’re not actually there on the other end of the gmail chat. But by password-hacking my father’s gmail account, I was able to reproduce his presence in my life. I didn’t live with him and didn’t live in the same city or state. So, his web-presence was his most common presence in my life. By logging him in on a dedicated computer, I’d recreated that presence and at times even managed to surprise myself for a split-second upon logging into my own account. It was always a pleasant surprise to see him “available to chat”.
Yes, there is personal sentiment. But it’s also simply about finding emotional or spiritual uses for technology. I’ve ...
Still from Untitled (sketch for a monument to J.G. Ballard #1), 2009
Works like Empyrean and The Road to Mount Weather among others, critically address an overwhelming range of issues including anything from consumerism, economic globalization to American politics and Hollywood. The presentation of these works often echo religious altarpieces particularly reminiscent of the Renaissance era. Why do you choose to allude and conflate content within this metaphorical ʻframeʼ?
My interests lie in the historical and political reconstruction of recordings and transmissions of mediated subjects, places, and ideas. The jumble of these issues are, for the most part, what I am addressing, not specifically critically, yet the ideas of criticality are also part of the conflation. Since the delivery of such information is the mediation, the mediated becomes the underlying subject. The conflation of these mediated images is something of a subjective regurgitation of the wash of juxtaposed information and images I encounter and distill throughout the process. Predilections and obsessions have a tendency to become more recurrent within this framework. Certain compositions from the Northern Renaissance reverberate with this complexity and resultant flatness of form reminding me of the compositions I construct. There is a kinship. There is also, in these altar pieces, a transcendence of the profane and banal that I find myself striving to accomplish.
Your work is allegorically intricate and labor intensive; always using millions of found images off the internet to arrange and animate. What are the intentions of working specifically in this accumulated way?
The searching, downloading, and databasing of images are modes of research, acquisition, and consumption all at once. It fulfills my need to collect but without the excessive expenditures of other possible activities and makes me feel as if I am actively participating in a complex economy of consumption, production ...
Spread across three tables, publications culled from around the world are surprisingly not rendered dead and embalmed under the vitrine coffin that most library material usually exhibits within, but instead can be found alive and well, waiting to be sifted through and handled. Curated by Rachael Morrison and David Senior, Millennium Magazines features magazines and journals spanning a broad range of subject matter including photography, art theory, design, architecture and social activism. Though diverse, each one encapsulates an experimental future forward ethos driven by an independent small publishing spirit.
The 102 featured publications begin from the year 2000 and feature familiar faces such as Fillip, Mossless, Triple Canopy and Bidoun but also include many burgeoning international winners such as White Fungus, PWR Paper, Institute for Social Hypocrisy and Junk Jet, to name but a few. Included also in the exhibition are monitors showcasing footage of the publishing process. The show continues online as well, featuring a website with links to each and every exhibited publication.
There is plenty of diversity here and one will surely find something new and refreshing, both content and design-wise.
Millennium Magazines is on view at the MoMA through May 14, 2012.