Monday, September 29, 2008
PREDRIVE: After Technology
Friday, November 14, 2008 | 8.00PM - 10.00PM
The Futurist-like newspeak that is often used to describe new media and web-based artworks is amusing, but limited. Technology is a tool, not necessarily a portal to another universe. Text messages, social networking web sites like Facebook and MySpace, weblogs, and a revolving door of tech-dujour applications promise to make our day to day lives easier and more efficient. Accessing information is no longer an overwhelming task — but a seductive, instantaneous experience.
PREDRIVE: After Technology features new works by six international artists including Takeshi Murata, Brody Condon, Paperrad, Gretchen Skogerson, and Antoine Catala that interrogate the “aesthetics of immediacy” produced by these technologies in contemporary art. The exhibition, guest-curated by Melissa Ragona, explores themes of digital effects and dysfunctions, readymade cyber-kitsch, software aesthetics, and the performativity of digital environments in real space.
Takeshi Murata pushes the boundaries of animation and psychedelia with sophisticated code-based image processing. In the hypnotic video installation Monster Movie, a B-movie decomposes and reconstitutes 30 times per second, becoming a seething, digital morass of color and form. “Murata’s particular genius is an almost alchemical ability to transform forgotten relics of pop culture into dazzling jewels,” comments ARTFORUM. Takeshi has participated in numerous international gallery and museum exhibitions. Recent exhibitions include a solo project with the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington DC) and participation in Automatic Update at the Museum of Modern Art (New York). | ARTIST WEBSITE |
Paperrad synthesizes popular material from television, comics, video games, and advertising, allowing these materials to contextualize and cross-reference each other. The three primary members are Jacob Ciocci, Jessica Ciocci, and Ben Jones. They make comics, zines, video art, net art, MIDI files, paintings, installations, and perform in a variety of bands. Although they continue to publish their own zines, music, and online content, they have shown at galleries including Pace Wildenstein and Deitch Projects and have exhibited in Pittsburgh, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, Boston, as well as in Norway, Germany, Canada and England. | ARTIST WEBSITE |
Brody Condon’s reverse engineering and exploitation of 3D game development technologies produce disturbing, highly aestheticized moving images, often accompanied by live performances. Brody attempts to locate, or fabricate, situations and visual works where computer games and game culture leak outside of the box and into our lived experience. The work finds its final form in a variety of media including software, video, and sculpture. He is currently working with the collaborative C-Level on a series of 3D games based on “alternative utopias and apocalyptic moments.” | ARTIST WEBSITE |
Gretchen Skogerson’s video work and interactive installations include DRIVE THRU (2006) and The American Disaster Series, an ongoing group of abstract, experimental shorts that, according to the artist, “reflect a portion of the unease within the contemporary American psyche.” Skogerson, an Assistant Professor of Film and Video at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, was featured in the 2008 Whitney Biennial, and has exhibited video/film, installation and robotic-oriented work at various national and international venues, including Anthology Film Archives, Boston Cyberarts Festival, g-niale, Independent Exposures, Kasseler Documentary Film and Video Festival, MadCat Women’s International Film Festival, New York Video Festival, Oni Gallery, Thaw, and Women in the Director’s Chair. | ARTIST WEBSITE |
Antoine Catala’s video installations engage the viewer to acknowledge the medium’s very own snags and glitches. In his digital diptychs, he enhances imperfections, renders errors, and other visual malformations to generate complex faceted figures. In rethinking portraiture, he delivers haunted digital composites that move the face across the screen in halting, often painful transmutations of subjectivity. His practice includes performance-based works and curating as a medium. A New York-based French artist, Antoine was schooled in Sonic and Fine Arts at Middlesex and London Guildhall Universities in London. His work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, Mexico, and the UK. | ARTIST WEBSITE |
Melissa Ragona’s critical and creative work focuses on sound design, film theory, and new media practice and reception. Her current book project, Readymade Sound: Andy Warhol’s Recording Aesthetics, examines Warhol’s tape recording projects from the mid-sixties through the late-seventies in light of audio experiments in modern art and current practices in media technologies. Her essays in film and sound criticism have been published in the MIT Press Journal, October; Duke University, Illinois and Ashgate presses. Ragona’s catalogue essays on contemporary artists have included Heike Mutter, Ulrich Genth, and Christian Jankowski. Ragona has curated film and video exhibitions and festivals for national and international venues, including a production of Miranda July’s Swan Tool, as well as the films and videos of experimental filmmakers Peggy Ahwesh, Pat O’Neill, Yvonne Rainer, and Benton Bainbridge. She currently teaches in the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University.