An exhibition that featured work in which the roles of host and guest, or physical and digital, constantly interchange.
In computing, an Emulator is a hardware or software that enables one system, the host, to behave like another system, the guest. Anne Vieux, Canyon Castator, and Jonathan Chapline employ their own digital vernaculars to derail this methodology by creating an aporia of non-linear thinking in which the roles of host and guest, or physical and digital, constantly interchange. The digital is the reproducible and limitless. Shifts of space, content, and rendering link these artists in complex ways, and their bold color schemes shock and produce physical sensations similar to the aftereffects of looking at a bright, shimmering screen.
Hyper colored inkjet printing, digital processing, and physical manipulation repeat on loop in Anne Vieux’s work. Her paintings and sculptures create a maximal minimalism. The process of scanning reflective papers creates a gradient effect, similar to a Photoshop lens flare, and the boundaries between image and surface create a unique materiality of the image/object. Curved and striated grooves twist the light, and paintings ride waves of effects. The forms mimic a generative organic process, yet– the new-old to the new-new, results in a digital/analog double fakeout.
Castator and Chapline evoke distance and memory of a variety perhaps unknown to the pre-internet generations, but with a sense of color and composition that belie a deep understanding of art history. Unrestrained by the material and linear thinking of antiquated methods, Canyon Castator expands on traditional painting techniques digitally on the iPad. In these “Digital Finger Paintings”, Castator samples, dismantles and reconstructs source image leitmotif, reappropriating it into a visual “Memory Palace”. The paintings are then printed on canvas and coated in an oil varnish. While this process creates the texture, scent and appearance of an oil painting–perhaps earlier work by Christoph Ruckhäberle or Rosson Crow– the subtleties of the “draw” program are charmingly nude to the eye.
Jonathan Chapline creates a fascinating oblique hierarchy reminiscent of certain Chicago Imagists, like a moody but less terrifying Ed Paschke — also a fan of the techniques of machine-use to create his pictures. Chapline’s compositions, while evoking the dissonance of the fractured digital, seduce with intelligent arrangements of objects and subtleties of color. The boundaries between image and surface create a unique materiality. Undulating organic forms contrast with sharp geometries, and we drift along the reticulated field until hitting the stark edge of the frame and returning.