June 1 – September 3, 2017
Main Gallery & Middle Gallery
Featuring Susi Brister, Kris Pierce, Randy Bolton, Frank Benson, Nancy de Holl, and Yoonmi Nam
Augmented Reality examines what impact the digital landscape has on our three-dimensional reality. With our always increasing consumer culture, techniques of illusion, and how we engage with one another and ourselves online, the mediated experience seeps into everyday experience. Sedentary activism, the latest trend of cyberspace, manifests as the liking of a post, “heart-ing” of a photograph, and deleting of an iPhone app. These political statements become “actions” to be observed by fellow smartphone globalists. Augmented Reality is a critical look at digital escapism and current control techniques of our ongoing spectacular society. Through a variety of perspectives, we explore the filters we apply to our “real” world and ones applied for us. The selected works examine desire, status, the currency of perceived experience, histories of illusions as inherent to nature and human interest, and the debris of a day to day life specifically lives mediated and lived through screens. Participating artists include Susi Brister, Kris Pierce, Randy Bolton, Frank Benson, Nancy de Holl Yoonmi Nam.
Susi Brister’s installation references the history of dazzle camouflage, a type of naval camouflage used by the British and US during WWI. Her photographic prints reflect on illusion as a technique inherent in nature by integrating shrouded figures into the landscape. The fabrics used also point to a man-made attempt to represent the natural world. Randy Bolton’s sculptural print installations, which he refers to as two and a half dimensions, serve as open narrative landscapes balanced on the moment of ominous adventure, Their visual style brings to mind open world and free roam video games, a format which often presents the player with the chance to choose between good and evil, right and wrong. Kris Pierce’s work utilizes emerging technologies to compose digital images and satirical videos that critique the covet culture of social media. Frank Benson and Nancy de Holl’s collaborative photo and video works create a more introspective and sensory narrative as we watch the subject move through stretches and recite a monologue. The viewer is placed inside of the subject’s head, hearing inner thoughts. Yoonmi Nam’s prints and sculptures replicate some of the most iconic consumer materials, plastic bags, take out containers, microwave foods, some of which have re-entered the zeitgeist through television-streaming platforms.
My work explores the interplay between the natural world and the synthetic imitations that humans have conceived to re-create nature. Using manmade materials that echo natural objects (faux fur, artificial flowers, synthetic hair extensions) and patterned textiles that reference aspects of landscape, I explore the slippage between reality and fantasy and the particular human drive to create idealized but thoroughly artificial representations of the natural world.
My current practice centers around ideas relating to the virtual nature of our modern visual world, and its influence on our physical reality. Life, death, power, love, and sex take on new meaning in the digital world, existing outside the norms of physical society.
I am interested in making and working with representational images that are paired or grouped together to form abbreviated visual allegories or narratives. I employ a kind of visual metaphoric language that is familiar, direct, and accessible on the surface, but one that is layered to have a more subversive subtext that is rich in double-meanings and ambiguities. My work reflects an abiding interest in literary works (especially fiction), narrative construction devices, and storytelling conventions.
Frank Benson investigates the figure, built environment, man made and natural objects by utilizing digital drafting and manufacturing processes to create precisely rendered sculptures, and staging and lighting in the building of his photographic and video compositions. The precision of representation produces an uncanniness that abstracts the subject, through realness the viewer experiences the unreal.
In my sculptural works I use these familiar disposable objects as subject matter and explore their materiality, ephemerality, and their persistence. I am drawn to man-made objects that we surround ourselves with, especially when they subtly suggest a contradicting sense of time that seems both temporary and lasting.