The fast pace of technology is bleeding into every aspect of contemporary life, including the artists trying to make sense of the surrounding world. The Verge visited The Armory Show and the NADA art fair during New York Art Week, where both established and emerging artists are experimenting with digital technology and its impact on the arts. We spoke with emerging artists about the way screens, science, and cyberpunk culture informs their work.
The fairs run through Sunday, and you can see a schedule here.
Technology, consumerism, and violence are the cornerstones of the work. I feel like I’m facilitating the creation of the work. The scanner is recording the images and I think of my role as mediating all of those reactions, almost like I’m collaborating with the machines. There’s this dystopian cyberpunk video game called Syndicate. It’s like a single shooter game; it’s really violent, this fucked up dark future. I made a video of a work of mine, so it’s like a gif of my own paintings and there’s imagery from the spinal reconstruction website looking at the spine and various shape and systematic text on top. I really think of these being screen-based paintings, so having a moving image alongside the painting made sense. They interact really well and work together. The underlying idea is how technology sees the world and how we see things and how the lens records the world we live in. What happens when you put a Cadillac ad in a front of a machine that doesn’t care about the content? It’s reading the information and recording it. I have an archive of images that goes back to the 50s. Post war until now is what I’m interested in. I’m into that compression of time.
All of my work starts out with me archiving thousands of my mother’s drawings that she made in the ‘90s. I pick like 10 or 15 of the drawings trace them and I’ll composite these worlds together using 3D animation. I work on graphite drawing, use a tablet to trace them and use 3d to build something that comes from an analogue process. The second phase is going around the country and filming portraits of people on the green screen. Basically I collect disparate archives and synthesize them together to make incongruent sources and to build a harmonious narrative, using what I have, fixed language, their bodies and their narratives, and my dance performance. It’s like an interdisciplinary network coming together to form one harmonious sculptural 3d animated still image virtual reality experience. I want to do a 3d animated video where a safe space is being destroyed. It’s a beginning of a series. Right now I’m on chapter one. It’s a destruction narrative. It’s a hieroglyphic legend like what they do with the Hobbit or J.R.R. Tolkien, or like a punk fantasy. I flesh it out I as go. It’s going to be like a VR album. I hate how crystallized it is sometimes. It’s an epic meta narrative.
The Amsterdam-based artist duo Studio Drift used Microsoft HoloLens to create Concrete Storm, a mixed reality installation commissioned by Artsy Projects on view at the Armory Show. (Studio Drift will be doing a talk at 4 pm today (March 4th), which you can watch live.)
Photography by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge