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2013-2015

LARRY COOK

LARRY COOK

represen-tation
in black culture

In my artwork I reflect my internal conflicts and my present ideas about representation in black culture, while inviting the viewer to consider these same. The work addresses American identity and its connection to history and pop-culture. The use of appropriation, documentation, and the directorial mode of photography create an experience that provides insight into the representation of contemporary black culture provides insight into the representation of contemporary black culture


LISA DILLIN

LISA DILLIN


may simulate nature

Stemming from an interest in the psychology of the individual in contemporary culture as compared to and contrasted with the primitive psychology of man, this work offers a synthesis that straddles both worlds, highlighting the connections and disconnections between our former modus operandi and our current status. While this lifestyle transformation may be recognizable in the lives of the majority, I focus on a specific grouping of individuals, those living in a maximally built environment, the urban landscape. This new normal position removes the sights, sounds, scents and behaviors integral to life in the natural world and replaces it with a myriad of man-made objects and experiences. Each of these objects and experiences carry pre-determined cultural behavioral expectations exclusive of individual preferences. 

No longer residing in a subsistence-based communal setting where a reactionary attitude to our environment is part of our survival technique, we now plan for our survival in a system based on the economy. Although this system is both convenient and reliable as compared to that of the past, my work pre-supposes that for some, the dependency on this structure does not present an entirely comforting situation. The disconnect from the natural world, in addition to the behavioral expectations, lack of intimacy, and survival challenges that characterize the contemporary construct, is not wholly satisfactory.

Humor and absurdity may be an element present in the work in its futile attempt to provide a material response to the predicament of life in contemporary culture. These objects may simulate nature, becoming a surrogate for a given user; easing or fulfilling the need for contact with the original. Due to this implied functionality, many works could be interpreted as positioning themselves in relationship to the field of product design, as they provide goods and services sought after by urban consumers. It is through this lens that my work investigates the relationship between our past and present experience.

 

ERIC GOTTESMAN

ERIC GOTTESMAN

who is allowed to speak?

Since becoming a photographer, I have been fascinated with the question of agency in the relationship between photographer and subject. Perhaps consequently, my work as a photographic artist poses the Spivakian question: “How does ‘Who is allowed to speak?’ affect what we see?” Using various pedagogical and artistic techniques in vastly diverse contexts including over a decade of work in Ethiopia, my projects incorporate the voices of my subjects, which often collide with history and subvert prior modes of seeing. These “subjects” frequently become collaborators in works that we author together. These collaborations take various forms. In Sudden Flowers (1999-2009), I engaged in several public interventions in a neighborhood in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with a collective of young photographers and filmmakers that I co-founded with Ethiopian filmmaker Daniel Debebe Negatu. In Studio Karmen/Another Beautiful (2010), I documented a studio photographer in Jordan whose painful estrangement from his homeland in Palestine filtered into his photographic practice. In Pictures Woke the People Up (2007-2012), with collaborator Wendy Ewald, I worked with members of the Innu Nation to stage outdoor installations, guerrilla film screenings and to revisit the archive of images that defined their identity as indigenous Canadians. In my most recent project Untitled Project On The Novel That Killed Baalu Girma (2011), the project takes form in several mediums – photographs, film, public performance and collaborative translation – in dialog with thirty-year-old texts left behind by assassinated Ethiopian journalist, novelist and government official Baalu Girma.

I have always been interested in deconstructing the binary relationship between photographer and subject and -- through collaboration, alternative pedagogy, deep listening and conversation -- in blurring the lines of authorship and stretching (or breaking) the rules of image production and display to develop a process that aims to replace expired aesthetic and political paradigms. Sometimes I do that by blurring the line between myself as a photographer and my subjects, or between myself as a teacher and my students, or between any other and myself. Sometimes I do it by displaying work in unexpected contexts or without clear goals. Always, I aim to create critical conversation about how expression on the linguistic, geographic or political margins can enter a local and a global canon.

 


JOSHUA HAYCRAFT

JOSHUA HAYCRAFT

reality, identity and the future

I create video installations that examine the role of technology in our conception of reality, identity, and the FUTURE... 

For the last seven years, I have been slowly designing a universe. Over this time I have created a government, a religion, an education system, and an economy, bundling it all under the ambiguous acronym BHBITB. Through distortion and exaggeration I examine these institutions and the methods they employ to define our modern "reality" (specifically affluent western reality). I have developed educational videos, prayers, recreational activities, and products all with a slick surface and a hollow core. A Culture by Ikea. My current research explores the function of ritual by developing practices that incorporate the old with the new. In my project Meditation Station 1.0, I utilize the Unity game engine to create an interactive walking meditation that is based upon the ancient labyrinth found in the tile work of Reims Cathedral in France. Without enemies, points, or clear objective, the “game” can be considered both meditative and repressive – like the mindless, repetitive escape found in computer games like solitaire. The goal of this and other projects is to confuse the viewer, forcing them to interpret meaning - similar to the way ancient cultures are understood through the examination of their artifacts. However, the message is often in the medium - questioning the techniques that are used to inform and influence modern society.

 

WILL SCHNEIDER-WHITE

WILL SCHNEIDER-WHITE

images of the imaging of myself

Paintings are inevitably reflections of the painter. Some of these paintings are images of myself, and some of them are images of the imaging of myself. Water becomes an equivalent to painting in its ability to hold and reflect, and distort. The idea of a reflection losing its referent is the natural process of a painting. 

These paintings follow the untied reflection, still made of its reflective stuff. They let the synchronicity of the reflective act fade, allowing the idea of reflection to lose its assumed faithfulness.  A book, a painting, and an ultramarine pool become sites of indifference towards their original reference; the reflection begins to work independently. Water lends its blue, definitions shift.