February 15 – 17th, 2019
at SPRING / BREAK Art Show LA
TRANSFER Download Installation GIF from Thoma Foundation Art House in Santa Fe, New Mexico
ABOUT THE GALLERY
TRANSFER was founded in 2013 to support artists making computer-based artworks, with solo exhibitions of experimental media art. In 2016 the gallery shifted to focus programming on solo shows from women refiguring technology, and began traveling a new virtual exhibition format called the ‘TRANSFER Download’.
In TRANSFER’s first five years, the gallery produced over 60 exhibitions of experimental media art in NYC and abroad, including international exhibitions, pop-ups and art fairs. In 2019 the gallery is relocating from Brooklyn, New York to Los Angeles, California. TRANSFER is independently owned and directed by Kelani Nichole.
TRANSFER is pleased to announce the gallery’s relocation to Los Angeles after 5 years in Brooklyn, NY. The gallery is launching on the west coast with an installation of the TRANSFER Download, presenting a selection of artworks mediated by Californian ideology during Frieze Week in LA.
Participating Artists: AES+ F (Moscow), LaTurbo Avedon (LA/Internet), Banz & Bowinkel (Berlin), Kate Durbin (LA), Rhonda Holberton (SF), Rollin Leonard (LA), Cassie McQuater (LA), Harvey Moon (SF/LA), Rick Silva (Eugene, Oregon), Theo Triantafyllidis (LA) and Peter Wu (LA)
February 15 – 17th from 12-8PM in DTLA
The artworks in this selection are available for collection. The catalog includes formats like moving image, virtual reality, algorithmic art, online performance, and installation. The Download is also available on commission with TRANSFER, and can be custom-architected to present in any space. For an inventory of works available please inquire with the email@example.com
Heaven or Hell: The Download Comes to Terms with Digital Culture
An introduction from Wade Wallerstein
California might be the most extreme place in the world. The uttermost frontier of The West, California is both the metaphorical and literal razor’s edge at the end of the world. Here, forest fires, celebrity culture, earthquakes, droughts, palm trees, mudslides, technological utopianism, dire poverty, unimaginable affluence, cannabis, mind-numbing traffic, and the-most Instagrammable-sunset-you-have-ever-seen all come together in a cacophonic paradise/hellscape nestled snugly against the Pacific Ocean. And you might just experience all of these things on your way home from work on the 5.
In addition to being the birthplace of the Internet itself, California, not-quite-so incidentally, is also the birthplace of The Download, TRANSFER’s ambitious exhibition platform which has delivered immersive digital video installations in its signature viewer-led, interactive format around the world. Since its inception at the Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco in 2016, The Download has extracted video works out of their networked native habitats and plopped them into the physical world. This act of translation, which sees digital works expand out of the screen and unfold across the gallery space, creates a phenomenology of embodiment as the viewer steps into the lush virtual environments created by some of the world’s most innovative digital practitioners. If it is in fact possible to bring a viewer closer to a digital artwork in a gallery than when it is displayed on their own personal interface, then The Download has accomplished just such a feat.
In a 2000 Artforum piece on the early history of net.art, Rachel Greene astutely noted, “beware that, seen out of their native HTML, out of their networked, social habitats, [these works] are the net.art equivalents of animals in zoos.” Yet, in 2019, this statement does not seem to bear the same weight. The Internet has become a dangerous space of corporate control, one which has relinquished its potential for utopian idealism and instead succumbed to the creeping influence of late-stage capitalism. Anyone who has read John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, or seen a David Hockney painting only to realize upon traveling to Los Angeles that California is not all glimmering swimming pools in the hills populated by nubile young men, understands that California has followed a similar trajectory. Not all that glitters is gold in the golden state, and underneath the shining glass-and-chrome facades of Silicon Valley’s most monopolistic cyber gatekeepers, something more nefarious festers.
The Download presents its own vision of utopia. Instead of caging works, The Download sets them free by swaddling them in a self-contained hyperspace untainted by prying cookies or other forms of cash-for-data-incentivized algorithmic surveillance. As TRANSFER relocates from its old haunt in New York City to find a new home in Los Angeles just miles from where the first ever message was sent from a computer linked to ARPANET at UCLA forty years ago this year (!), this new edition of The Download responds to the oxymoronic chaos of the most mythologized place in modern culture.
The Los Angeles debut of The Download sees contemporaries AES+ F, LaTurbo Avedon, Banz & Bowinkel, Kate Durbin, Rhonda Holberton, Rollin Leonard, Cassie McQuater, Harvey Moon, Rick Silva, Theo Triantafyllidis and Peter Wu engaging in critical examinations of contemporary digital culture mediated by Californian ideology.
– Wade Wallerstein is a digital anthropologist and curator based in the Bay Area, specifically looking at digital curating and the ways in which the internet can be used as an exhibition platform.
CASSIE MCQUATER – Love Birds, Night Birds, Devil-Birds, 2019
3-channel HD Video with Audio (Duration 04:32)
Love Birds, Night Birds, Devil-Birds is a re-imagining of the surrealist story “The Debutante,” by artist Leonora Carrington, in which a young woman exchanges places with a hyena, masked in a suit of human skin, for her societal debut. Extravagant dresses made of anatomical parts, fragmented planes of glass, and pastel-pink lights swirl in pastoral landscapes populated by undulating fluorescent flowers, strange monsters and deconstructed birds that paint the sky. Music by Kelly Moran.
AES+F – Inverso Mundus, 2015
3-channel HD Video with Audio, Trailer Edit (Duration 05:35)
Characters act out scenes of absurd social utopias and exchange masks, morphing from beggars to rich men, from policemen to thieves. Female inquisitors torture men on IKEA-style structures. Children and seniors are fighting in a kickboxing match. Inverso Mundus is a world where chimeras are pets and the Apocalypse is entertainment.
THEO TRIANTAFYLLIDIS – Seamless, 2017
Live Simulation with Custom Software, HD Video Excerpt with Audio (Duration 06:35)
Bio-mimetic robots and wild animals cohabitate in a landscape of limited resources in this live simulation, continuously negotiating the boundaries of their habitation. The random encounters between different species – nonviolent realization of each other’s existence – are the moments of interest. (2017, 3-Channel live simulation, custom software with sound design by Diego Navarro)
BANZ & BOWINKEL – Palo Alto, 2018
HD video excerpt with Audio from Interactive Live Simulation / Virtual Reality, (Duration 04:13)
Palo Alto is driven by the notion that the virtual world is not the sphere of simulated reality but rather its counterpart, the computer, acts as an unconscious force subjecting the meaning of our human society to a new techno-order. In this space, a banal landscape populated by vague minimalist shapes is supervised by a Bentham-esque panopticon. Palo Alto exposes the viewer to this otherness of the virtual by constructing experiences that root in a real-life-memory but expose them to the logic of the computer, the new perceptual supervisor.
KATE DURBIN – Unfriend Me Now, 2018
3-channel HD Video Composition with Audio from a short film (Duration 05:00)
Kate Durbin’s Unfriend Me Now! re-imagines the Facebook timeline as a hellscape of abject soap boxing and absolute polarization, where human clowns scream eternally into the void. This 3-channel piece is segmented from a 15 minute short film by Durbin, dressed as trickster clown, explores the role of the Facebook algorithm in increasing political polarization, and the co-option of rage by corporate interests.
RICK SILVA – Resist, 2018
HD Video Loop (Duration 02:00)
An ongoing focus in Rick Silva’s videos has been on landscape as an intermediary between the virtual and real, and speculations on near-future wilderness. More recently his work has also started to address climate crisis and protection of public lands. In Resist, a camera circles an iceberg draped in protest signs. The work is a collision of timescales – one is glacial and the other human, both meet in an anxious and uncertain now.
HARVEY MOON – SlowScan, 2018
Algorithmic HD Video with Audio (Duration 03:45)
SlowScan considers our linear existence through time and our inability to understand the world any differently. The algorithm taps into live-feed surveillance cameras around the world. It records and processes hours of footage producing a new temporal output. The result is a software-mediated reality where time is rendered in a new way—each frame is composed of hours of real-time footage. In this new representation of space and time, fast motion dissolves into a static mess of pixels. The environment, existing on a non-human time scale, remains constant through the passage of time.
LATURBO AVEDON – Frontier Study, 2018
3-channel HD Video with Audio (Duration 05:41)
LaTurbo Avedon is an avatar and artist originating in virtual spaces, through gaming, chat rooms and life on the Internet. Their work emphasizes the practice of nonphysical identity and authorship. Avedon uses game engines and modeling software to generate poetic viewing simulations, often a commentary on the experience of looking at digital art itself. In Frontier Study, Avedon shares a simulation of landscape and nature, creating a view beyond Eadweard Muybridge’s 1886 photographic project Horse in Motion. Rendering a digital horse into life, the work provides a phenomenological examination of the simulation of nature by calling attention to the visual logic by which computers evoke an alternate virtual reality.
RHONDA HOLBERTON – No Unreal Thing Exists, 2018
3 Channel HD Video (Duration 03:33, loops seamlessly)
Holberton’s No Unreal Thing Exists depicts a 3D scan of a hand cast in plaster using American Sign Language to alphabet spell out the title of the work. Language, body, material, and virtual space converge in a state of constant fluctuation between biological and digital realities. Recent ecological and political events across the globe has left disparate societies living in parallel, but rarely overlapping, realities. Ubiquitous screens mediate bodily experiences of the physical world. In turn, digital content shapes material reality.
PETER WU – Prelude (Prometheus), 2019
3-channel HD Video with Audio (Duration 02:22)
For TRANSFER’s Download, Peter Wu has created a video introduction for the gallery’s inaugural Los Angeles exhibition. Peter Wu generates immersive installations utilizing A.I. writing bots, projection mapping, 3D printing, and animation software. Thematically, he draws upon the genre of science fiction to investigate our estrangement associated with technological advancement and modernity. Wu’s work examines how technology is altering our perception of our bodies, reality, and history.
ROLLIN LEONARD – Blob Opera, 2018
3-channel 4K Looped Moving Image with Audio, Excerpt (Duration 05:00)
In Blob Opera, Leonard photographs portraits of performer Tiffany Warren through water droplets the size of large raindrops on glass plates. Taking thousands of shots, he animates the faces using stop-motion. Here, Warren sings phrases from classical operas in four languages and performs vocal warm-ups. The water droplets are both an optical lens and distortion tool. Each singing droplet’s volume is proportional to its changing size. Their syncopated timing allows for accidental choruses and clashes of sound in a manner that evokes the cacophony of identities in digital culture.
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