In an age where ‘scatter art’, intermedia works, #InstaArt, and Photoshop is the norm, the white cube is being ditched for the web.
Visiting an art gallery is a quasi-religious experience. The glass revolving doors swing you into a white, pallid place. A store of overpriced coffee-table books to the left, the gallery to the right. You walk into a hushed room. Nothing is to be touched. You encounter a receipt from Sainsbury’s. Framed in Perspex, it’s listed by the placard as a navigation of the negative space surrounding exchange values. Well, duh.
If cafés are the metropolitan equivalent of the living room, the Tate is the church. It’s where people go to worship creativity. But as artists adopt downloaded tools and relocate to their laptops to display their works, how we access and assess art is under scrutiny.
The transition from the material to ephemeral is one condition of our digital age. We digitise ourselves every day, archiving ourselves onto cyberspace through the likes of Instagram and Snapchat. This toolbox of post-mediums reflects how most of us spend huge chunks of our days looking at screens.
Digital art, due to its everyday access, expands what can be considered as ‘art’. The kind of art we can cram into high-bandwidths and browse. In an age when an art piece doesn’t have to be hung in a white cubed room for it to be considered, we’ve rounded-up 8 artists that we see as cntrl alt dlt’ing the parameters of art:
With their referential points being identity politics, gender, and the dimly-lit screens of social media, Vullo uses his art to critically break-down digitised lives. The Milan-based artist remixes famous canvas paintings, splicing contrasting worlds and knowledges together.
Intentionally provocative and seeped with irony, Vullo articulates a visual vocabulary that is disturbingly familiar. A pair of selfie lips sealed in an air-tight container resting on a Styrofoam platter, fresh from the butchers. A cactus-shaped ice lolly formatted as if it came straight from Urban Outfitters’ marketing department. The misty gulf illustrated in Wanderer above the Sea of Frog illuminated by McDonald’s golden arches. By manipulating images, Vullo refigures their symbols to install new cultural meanings to them. Implicating the viewer in the process.
You can follow Vullo on Instagram
• Dear me, Don't look for happiness in the same place you lost it. _ #letterstomyself A post shared by K.— (@karencantuq) on Mar 23, 2017 at 6:27pm PDT
Her dreamy, surreal landscapes disarticulate the way we use photography and images to present realness. Loading Cantuq’s work on our screens, we’re presented with natural spots that have enlarged animals imposed on them, warping how the viewer sees and reads photographs. An elephant holding planetoid balloons. A woman skipping in a field of lavender holding a plume of jellyfish. A ladybird scuttling up the Eifel Tower.
Jumping into Cantuq’s world of odd proportions and bouncy spatiality, the Mexican architecture student loves to inspire. When she’s not playing with horizons, Karen introduces our grams to #DailyRemindersbyK. Those little nudges that keep us going each day. She has a sub-series of pieces that depict broken neon signs, the leaking lights reveal hidden messages within cliché phrases.
You can follow Cantuq on Instagram
Back in 2000, a suicide bomber in Israel with 15 lbs. of explosives seized musician Omer Golan. Waking up in a hospital three weeks later, the blast had left him with a left hand he could no longer feel. Being a musician was out, so Omer looked to new media to process his body. His body was now located as the territory of politics and terrorism. 15 years on, Omer continues to engage with not only his lived-in narrative through the bio-political body, but a grander global network of geopolitics.
OMTA is an acronym of both Omer and his wife Tal’s names. Their dialectic dynamic sees them transmit their experiences across different digital medias and they have united their 2012 project Plant a Comment with Google. The world’s first net-based artwork for Liquid Galaxy, the duo curated a virtual space in which text messages sprout from branches of a tree in a virtual world. The trees grow based on grouped topics. It’s not too surprising that the public spoke about sex the most.
You can follow OMTA on Facebook
COMPOSURE 484/3650 03/28/2017 #learn #everyday #3D #c4d #cinema4d #daily #graphic #juxtapoz #thegraphicspr0ject #pr0ject_uno #portland #adobe #photoshop #artinstallation #art #surrealart #3dart #surrealism #tattoo #lovewatts #installationart #surreal #burningman #trippy #digitalart #lowbrow #theyesuniverse #gold #hifructose #arts_gallery A post shared by Chad Knight (@chadknight) on Mar 28, 2017 at 11:40pm PDT
We’ve all seen those 365 projects. It kicked off a trend of Youtube flicks that would stream together a photo of the uploader every day for one year. But when Chad Knight dabbled into this exercise, he took it into a different direction. He curated a personal journal by creating a new piece of digital art every day.
Through the digital, Knight has computerised a world of uneasy, frightening possibilities. A threatening space that implicates the viewer into a state of unease and perplexity as they try to read images of deconstructed skulls, elephant-shaped deities, and tactile, carved flesh. Knight codes his images into a vast network of signs that invoke murky psychological readings.
You can follow Chad on Instagram
#GifGate was the internet scandal of a lifetime. Is it pronounced ‘jif’ or ‘gif’ (with a hard ‘g’)? Carl Burton’s hypnotic, pulsating gifs will put you in such a trance you wouldn’t care less about how it’s pronounced. The New York-based artist generated the gifs while experimenting on his laptop in a NY Public Library.
Translating different sceneries into a language of moving imagery, Burton looks to politics, nature, architecture, and the mundane as influence. He’s even illustrated articles by Margaret Atwood and the second season of true-crime podcast Serial.
You can see more of Burton on Tumblr
It’s all in the pixels for Vancouver and New York-based artist Sara Ludy. As distance becomes deflated by the sending of an email, Ludy abstracts and repurposes space in reply to the increasing immateriality of the day-to-day. Her practise is one of otherworldly renderings of houses, imbuing domestic set-ups with the digital uncanny and building architectonic agitation through her mystical animations, sculptures, and audio-visual performances.
As you navigate the iconographically familiar apartments, Sara works to concern such spaces with the political or psychological. Her digital constructions of the physical world are first snapped from her iPhone. It is through mobile photography that she distorts the organic and transfigures contexts as they journey into cyber-environments. By seeking to build a lexicon of space, Sara invites interruption in how we perceive and know what spaces are around us in our increasingly blurred world of physical and virtual.
See more of Ludy’s work on her website.
Author of the Glitch Manifesto, the Dutch glitch artist Rosa Menkman pierces into the gap between the ones and zeros. Enumerating the aesthetic of accidents in digital and analogue media, Menkman shatters images into pixelated noise. She corrupts our preoccupation with digital imagery having to be detailed and perfect by diving into the code of image files, and edits data to intentionally cause errors in the image.
By addressing the role of accident and failure in the digital imagination, Menkman encourages breakages from the status of image. The glitched media experience that we receive from Menkman’s work is one of tension between our lives away and within the computer screen.
Brooklyn-based photographer James George makes art out of code. As technology transforms how we fantasise and imagine certain concepts such as time and space, George reformats visual-optics to build a new way of seeing the world; computational photography. It’s an aesthetic of 3D silhouettes and 2D camera-images co-ordinated into an artistic programme of media documentation.
George is one figure behind the RGB+D Toolkit, a new artistic medium production in which gaming consoles are transformed into filmmaking tools. By slotting together a depth-sensing camera and a DSLR camera, James invents new imaging forms that can map out a CGI and video hybrid world. His first stint into the field, Clouds, acted as an interface into this data-type and gigabytes horizon of art, presented as a series of vignettes.
You can follow James on Vimeo