Thoma Foundation Santa Fe
June 15th, 2018
through May 31st, 2019
TRANSFER Download Installation GIF from Haus der elektronischen Künste in Basel, featuring ‘SIGNALS’ by Rick Silva and Nicolas Sassoon
The TRANSFER Download is generously supported by a commission from the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation.
The TRANSFER Download is a virtual exhibition format that presents a “download” of artists exploring simulation, algorithm, procedural animation and online practice. Each instantiation of the Download is unique – multiple artworks are installed in one hyperspace, creating a layered salon-style exhibition format. The TRANSFER Download’s hyperlinked display allows viewers to switch between pieces, to experience an immersive survey of contemporary artworks.
A curatorial selection titled ‘Simulations in Hyperspace’ – inspired by the Thoma Foundation’s Digital Art Collection and its unique location in the Southwest – is presented inside the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Foundation’s Art House in Santa Fe for a year-long exhibition from June, 2018 – May, 2019.
Participating Artists: AES+F, LaTurbo Avedon, Snow Yunxue Fu, Carla Gannis, Claudia Hart, Alex McLeod, Rollin Leonard, Lorna Mills, Harvey Moon, Sabrina Ratte, Rick Silva & Nicolas Sassoon, Daniel Temkin, Theo Triantafyllidis, and Lu Yang.
The layered salon-style exhibition format was developed by Kelani Nichole and Harvey Moon at the Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco (2016) and exhibited again as part of The Current Museum in NYC (2016) before traveling to the Haus der elektronischen Künste in Basel (2017) and the Chronus Art Center in Shanghai (2017). In 2018 the Download is being adapted to display a wider selection of moving image, 360° and immersive works at foundations, museums and debuted as an art fair booth concept at the NADA New York (2018).
LORNA MILLS, Peaceable Kingdom Redux, 2018
3-channel HD video from animated GIF collage (01:00)
Lorna Mills’ imagery is sourced from websites and social media where images are rapidly shared. Her response to the onslaught of online information are animated collages of GIFs, often low-resolution image loops that act as symbols of subcultural trends. Mills is celebrated for her subversive critique of digital culture and has shown her work in Times Square and the Video Archeology Festival in Bulgaria. She has been making digital and internet art since the mid-1990s. Vice Magazine called her work both “beautiful” and “excessive;” in other words, “absurdly human.”
LU YANG, Electromagnetic Brainology, 2018
3-channel HD video with audio from Realtime 3D performance, video excerpt (05:30)
Lu Yang is at the forefront of Shanghai’s digital art culture, and she is entrenched in her country’s art history. For example, in Buddhism, the four great elements are fire, earth, water, and air. Lu Yang reimagines the elements as superhero gods, each corresponding to a different part of the human central nervous system. This is an adaptation of a 3D motion-tracking performance in which the artist equipped a dancer with motion tracking sensors. The New York Times has described her works that “that explore neuroscience, mortality and religion” as “boundary pushing.”
CARLA GANNIS, Portraits in Landscape, Sunrise, 2018
3-channel HD video (02:45)
“Portraits in Landscape, Sunrise” is inspired by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, the sixteenth century Italian painter noted for his composite portraits of men made from vegetables and women from flowers. Gannis uses this technique to compile beings represented by a sum of emojis. Gannis’s collages ask, is communication too cute in our smartphone age? Gannis’ elaborate illustrations are hand-crafted frame-by-frame in illustrator and animated in after effects, combined with spatial modeling and atmospheric effects produced in Maya. Since 2003 Gannis’s work has appeared in over 20 solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions both nationally and internationally. She is Professor of Digital Arts at Pratt Institute.
AES+F, Inverso Mundus, 2015
3-channel HD video with audio, trailer edit (05:35)
Four artists from Moscow comprise the group AES+F. Their provocative films, featuring dozens of actors and computer-generated imagery (CGI) effects, have earned AES+F international acclaim at the Venice Biennale. In Inverso Mundus, the artists imagine an “upside-down world” in which people exchange social roles, a popular theme in art since the European Middle Ages, especially during the riotous annual Carnival festival. AES+F apply a morphing technique to photographs, achieving simultaneously fluid and unnatural movement in super high definition.
CLAUDIA HART, Alice Unchained, 2018
3-channel 3D animation with audio from VR motion capture performance, video excerpt (03:00)
Claudia Hart has created virtual reality artworks since 1998. Alice Unchained depicts a fantasy world reminiscent of Alice’s escape to Wonderland, here embellished with the décor of our digital era like emojis and QR codes. Two figures converse using text from spambots cycled through online translation tools to the point of hilarity. Hart’s interactive artwork allows viewers to control their actions among her virtual maze, and provides a poignant commentary on the changing definitions of “real” and “fake” in our increasingly virtual environments.
LATURBO AVEDON, Frontier Study, 2018
Single-channel HD video with audio, (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. About her virtual existence, Avedon has said, “I don’t really look at my existence as being much different than other people, but I suppose that could be a message in itself.” In Frontier Study, LaTurbo shares a simulation of landscape and nature, creating a view beyond Eadweard Muybridge’s 1886 photographic project Horse in Motion. Their work has appeared internationally, including The Whitney Museum (New York), Barbican Center (London), and Galeries Lafayette (Paris).
THEO TRIANTAFYLLIDIS, Seamless, 2017
Live simulation with custom software, video excerpt (06:35)
Theo Triantafyllidis creates live simulations using a gaming engine that are endlessly variable in activity and infinite in time, from which Seamless is an excerpt. Here, bio-mimetic robots and wild animals co-inhabit a landscape of limited resources. The robots and animals must negotiate the boundaries of their habitat as directed by the simulation’s random algorithm, which generates encounters and ultimately compels nonviolent realization of each other’s existence. His work has been exhibited in Beijing, Athens, Paris, New York, Miami and Los Angeles.
ALEX MCLEOD, Ready to Die, 2018
3-channel high definition video (02:45)
In Ready to Die, non-playable ‘characters’ struggle to exist in a space that is also constantly re-animating itself. The forms squish, loop and fail, only to repeat their actions eternally. McLeod calls this artwork a video game with a non-player character (NPC), controlled by the game’s artificial intelligence (AI) rather than by a human gamer. McLeod studied painting at OCAD in Toronto, but he is self-taught in the medium he loves best: digital. His heavyweight renders are produced on a home-grown render farm housed in the artist’s studio – a departure from the outsourced render farms where most cinematic digital art and games are made. He has produced solo exhibitions in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Barcelona and is represented by Division Gallery in Toronto, and is currently working on “the largest digitally printed image in the world” for Metrolinx in Toronto.
ROLLIN LEONARD, Blob Opera, 2018
3-channel 4K looped moving image, excerpt edit (5:00)
Leonard photographs portraits through water droplets the size of large raindrops on glass plates. Taking thousands of shots, he animates the faces using stop-motion. Here, performer Tiffany 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. Leonard relates the emergent properties of water—its ability to bond molecules or behave with seeming independence—to the emergent creativity being developed by digital artists and technologists. “Blob Opera” was made in collaboration with Kate Durbin (producer), Tiffany Warren (singer), Joseph Freeman (audio capture and mastering), and Denis Kirkman-Moriarty (camera operator).
SABRINA RATTÉ, Biomes, 2017
Single-channel video with audio (04:38)
Sabrina Ratté began her career as a video artist, experimenting with video synthesizers and feedback. Biomes was created to simulate surrealist paintings in motion, like the drippy landscapes of Yves Tanguy a century ago. Ratté uses 3D animation software to create painterly effects that play with soft, harsh, matte and shiny surfaces, differing shades of light and the illusion of depth or flatness. She calls Biomes portraits of post-human environments where uncanny life forms materialize and slowly detach themselves from the horizon, to finally melt into the landscape itself.
RICK SILVA & NICOLAS SASSOON, SIGNALS, 2016
3-channel HD video with audio (02:00)
SIGNALS is a collaborative project by artists Sassoon and Silva initiated in 2015 around a shared interest in computer imaging. The artists generate immersive audio-visual renderings of seascape environments, drawn specifically from their research of oceanic surveys to extrapolate how will these landscapes might appear in hundreds or thousands of years. The artists use 3D modelling software to embed dissonant or non-natural pixelated elements into natural scenarios. SIGNALS has been exhibited internationally including Berkeley CA, Belgrade Serbia, Seattle WA, Shanghai China, Vancouver and Toronto.
SNOW YUNXUE FU, Gorges, 2018
3-channel HD video with audio (04:10)
Gorges uses 3D software and particle simulation to render natural scenery like rivers, clouds and mountains through highly saturated color scales. The Chinese-born artist and educator draws upon traditional Chinese and European landscape paintings to play with notions of nature as sublime, desirable and dangerous. The artist says of 3D animation software, “It’s a place where impossible things can happen.” Fu has exhibited her work worldwide, including the Hong Kong Arts Center, the Centro de Cultura Digital in Mexico City, and the Centre des Arts d’Enghien-les-Bains. Her early painting, “Kissing the Mother,” entered the permanent collection of the National Museum of China in 1994, making Fu the youngest artist represented by the collection.
PHILLIP DAVID STEARNS, Ambient Environments: WindowsXP, 2018
Single-channel HD Video with Audio (02:38)
Phillip David Stearns uses only a few lines of code to scan the familiar backgrounds of the Windows Operating System from left to right, resulting in one-pixel-wide strips of color, and similarly expands the start-up musical sequence. His algorithmic animation deconstructs how sound design and software design simultaneously condition a user’s experience of a computer’s branded Operating System. Such glitch art reveals that using a computer is hardly a smooth and seamless experience.
HARVEY MOON, Time Objects, 2016
3-channel video with audio (03:15)
In Time Objects, Moon algorithmically bends video in-between pixels to reveal a multidimensional, surrealistic experience. Moon starts with a simple video of familiar objects, and runs an algorithm that extends the video through time to create stunning warping patterns. With his code, the artist reveals the fluidity of objects and proposes they are more than they seem. Harvey Moon is a new media artist and a creator of kinetic sculptures and algorithmic video. Moon received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has exhibited internationally including the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts and the Nuit Blanche Festival in Toronto. He currently works at the forefront of experimental A/V with Obscura Digital and Facebook.
DANIEL TEMKIN, Dither Studies, 2018
Algorithmic website, video excerpt (03:45)
Dither Studies is an exploration of Photoshop’s dithering tool, which applies visual noise, or error, to a computer graphic. Temkin pushes the program to perform an impossible task: to draw a solid color or gradient with a palette of incompatible colors, thus exposing the dithering algorithm’s complex, seemingly irrational patterning system. Temkin, whose internet artworks exist between glitch and Op art, considers his collaborations with machines as exposing the gap between human and computer logic, in that use of computers reinforces compulsive thinking and action. Temkin’s experiment is open-source; viewers can set their own dithering parameters at danieltemkin.com/DitherStudies
For more information or to inquire about art work availability please contact Kelani Nichole: firstname.lastname@example.org
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