Anti-Establishment and Artificial Emotional Spectrometer
Center For Curatorial Studies, Bard College
June 23 – December 21, 2012
Institutions, in nearly any form, are easy targets. Monolithic and faceless, they are the ultimate representation of the hierarchical power structure typically labeled ‘the establishment.’ They are receptacles for the perceived-transgressions committed against us and the spring-board against which avant-garde (if there is still such a thing) cultural production works. Anti-Establishment, curated by Johanna Burton and currently on view at Bard College’s Center For Curatorial Studies, looks to problematize and counter some of the black-eyes that institutions so regularly receive from those that inhabit, utilize and take them apart. Potential, possibility and a reassessing of the very foundations upon which many institutions are built are at the heart of Burton’s curatorial premise and the works in the exhibition succinctly reflect it with generosity, intrigue and mystery. Sarah Pierce’s installation performance Future Exhibitions (2009-present) conjures the demands of the institution and their effect on artistic production, exhibition and consumption. Pam Lins' Slabs and Armatures (2012) uses a photograph of Henry Moore in his studio as a jumping off point for a series of sculptural objects that think about the typically hidden parts of a sculpture. This re-articulation of terms embodied by Lins' work is another core of Anti-Establishment. Burton’s catalog essay asks poignantly: ‘What models of art making are available to artists today wishing to generate alternatives and oppositions to conditions as they are?’ A great question in the current artistic and political climate. When so much that is celebrated as ‘counter-cultural’ is often a road that leads right back through the institution's front door, what avenues exist? Possibilities are found throughout this thoughtful and engaging exhibition, making it well worth a trip to the Hudson Valley.
Eric Zimmerman is an artist and Editor of ...might be good.
Kristina Felix: Artificial Emotional Spectrometer
Pastelegram Online Issue No. 1
June - July, 2012
The Internet. It is a wealth of collaborative knowledge, a powerful tool for social mobility and has always been a friend to artists whether it is used for research, inspiration or walking the fine line of image appropriation. Increasingly, the Internet has become not only a catalyst for creating artwork, but the subject matter of the work itself. Kristina Felix’s Artificial Emotional Spectrometer is just that—a work of art that utilizes and can only exist within the Internet. However, contrary to many other online projects out there, Felix’s approach is unassuming and as much about the Internet as it is about gender roles, relationships between images and the visual and expressive weight of words. Graphic black and white text—LOVE, FEAR, APATHY—provoke emotional cues, and once clicked on by the viewer and immediate participant, each piece of text becomes paired with grayscale product images of men and women’s undergarments. These pairings, selected by the artist, are then used to propagate additional and similar images via Google’s Image Search. The results are a neat grid of black and white poignancy, easily refreshed and reloaded, the entire project functioning in a constant state of flux much like the Internet itself. In a way, the work is really an act of collective curation between the viewer/participant, the artist, Google’s algorithm and, of course, the googolplex (yes, pun) of images uploaded by Internet users every day.
Emily Ng is an artist and Production Associate at Fluent~Collaborative.