Global Space brings together artists An Xiao, Man Bartlett, Clement Valla, Caleb Larsen, Lorena Turner, and Jasper Elings. Through their work the exhibit searches for what it means to be a citizen of the world made so much smaller by our use of the Internet.
When assembling the exhibit, curator Ben Valentine asked himself how humans relate to and engage with something as ephemeral as the cloud and crowd, as distant as child labor, and the simultaneously accessible and unfathomable amount of content that is held within Google.
“It’s been a long time since humans were relegated to use only the clay and wood found nearby; yet the internet has presented us with a quantum leap of communication technology of an unprecedented magnitude,” said Valentine.
One piece in the exhibit, We Meme, is an interactive project that borrows from the idea of Indianapolis as a “Crossroads of America.” An Xiao, American designer, researcher, and artist, uses the internet as a site for the cross pollination of visual culture online. The project connects two cultures via the language of memes (the photos you see on the internet with funny phrases and sentences). On one panel are GIFs and image memes from Tumblr in China. On the other panel are animated GIFs and image memes from Tumblr in the United States. Visitors will be invited to sit and watch them. Although the initial images will be curated by the artist, anyone, including a select number of invited guest artists, may submit their own images for inclusion via the Tumblr feed.
Another piece, the Made in China Series, commonly used items that were made and packaged in China and purchased in small department stores in the United States, were removed from their original packaging and dusted for fingerprints; they were then photographed in a studio under black lights. This process allows for the evidence of another’s touch, quite possibly the person involved in constructing and packaging the item, to be revealed on the surface of the object.
Through these and other pieces the Global Space exhibit makes it clear how the Internet has changed us as consumers and united us through pop culture.
Xiao’s art has been featured in diverse venues like the Brooklyn Museum and Shanghai’s Xindanwei, and she recently exhibited a live, month-long Tumblr piece at the Museum of Chinese in America. Her work on memes and social media art has been covered in publications like The Atlantic, Wired, Art in America and ArtNews. Find her on Twitter at @anxiaostudio or on her website at www.anxiaostudio.com.
Art404 is a new media duo based in New York & Miami creating works within the realm of contemporary tech art. Their work is published through their online portal, Art404.com and often exhibited in the real world through their pop up space, Low Budget Gallery. Their work has been featured on prominent art & technology publications and has been included as part of several new media art festivals. Known for their interventionist style of art making they call “post-trolling”, the duo is currently working on a series of work exploring online identity & branding in contemporary culture.
Valla is an artist working with algorithmic systems. He pushes problem-solving logic to irrational ends. His recent work examines copies, repetition and reproduction in Chinese ‘Oil-Painting Factories’ and crowd-sourced online drawing tools. Valla wonders about the blurring boundary between human creativity and computational interpretation.
He received a BA from Columbia University in 2001, where he studied architecture. After working for architects in the USA, France, and China, Valla began using computers and digital technologies in his own work. He received an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Digital+Media.
Valla has collaborated with a number of artists, architects, designers, scientists and archaeologists, developing novel uses for digital technologies. His work has been shown internationally, and recently written about in such publications as the Huffington Post, Wired, boingboing, the Guardian, Liberation. He currently teaches in Digital + Media and Foundation Studies at RISD.
He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY
Elings is a Dutch animator and Internet artist. He is considered one of the new, highly inventive generation of young animators who explore new techniques and platforms for their work. Elings’ work often consists of light-hearted animations dealing with contemporary internet culture. Using the everyday and pop-culture as reference, Elings pushes the aesthetics of online space, an arena characterized by a dizzying array of content, influences, and interconnectivity. He studied animation and film at the Art Academy AKV St. Joost in Breda, the Netherlands where he graduated in 2005. He lives and works in the Netherlands and his artwork has been shown on many different platforms like Tumblr, international film festivals, the New Museum, and is constantly featured prominently in Speed Shows around the world.
Turner is a social scientist with a camera. She creates photographic projects which are indexes of socialization and contemporary social experience. Her work is shown in galleries, museums and non-traditional art spaces both nationally and internationally. Recently, her project “The Michael Jacksons” was featured on Studio 360 (an NPR/PRI radio program), and is gaining recognition as a series that considers the human impact of Michael Jackson’s work and legacy through the people who perform as him.
Lorena received an MFA from the University of Oregon, and teaches photojournalism and documentary studies in the Communication department at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California. She resides in both Los Angeles and New York City.
Bartlett (b.1981) is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. His practice includes online performance, drawing, and collage.
He has exhibited or performed in a variety of venues including: The V&A Museum (London), his tiny windowless bedroom (Brooklyn), a Best Buy store (New York), Freies Museum (Berlin), Port Authority Bus Terminal (New York), Winkleman Gallery (New York), Skydive Art Space (Houston), Platform Gallery (Seattle), Hinge Gallery (Chicago) and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York).
Bartlett has also participated in residencies at VCCA, Flux Factory, The Wassaic Project, and with Residency Unlimited as their first S&M (Social and Media) Artist in Residence.
He has guest-lectured at various institutions including: MICA (Rinehart School of Sculpture), Pratt (School of Digital Arts and Animation) and to the Kindergarten class at the Amherst Elementary School (Amherst, Virginia).
Bartlett’s work has been featured in ARTnews, C Magazine (#class), LA Weekly, Art in America online, Art Fag City, Hyperallergic, Huffington Post Arts, The L Magazine, ARTINFO, The Daily News, and The Stranger, among others.