Digital art continues to be a presence within the gallery setting, often sparking conversations about how we view art and what digital tools can do to expand our visual language. But the Gallery 151 group show Emulator takes a different appraoch by instead asking viewers to assess how digital spaces change the way they process physical art and analog art-making. The show, curated by Anna Gritsevich, features the work of Anne Vieux, Canyon Castator and Jonathan Chapline.
“One condition of digital is the reproducible; with the unlimited access to the virtual, the exclusive and intimate pleasure of experiencing art has been cheapened by the boundaries of our digital screens,” Gritsevich says. “However, the notion that this lowers the value of creative works, is increasingly a hackneyed idea. I wanted to showcase 'paintings' that appear as though they are being viewed on a screen—without a device present.”
This experience comes through in the aesthetics of the pieces, the way that their “bold color schemes shock and produce physical sensations similar to the aftereffects of looking at a bright, shimmering screen.”
Many of the pieces also challenge the space and viewing experience between analog and digital, physical and digital. Vieux scans reflective papers to create pieces that mimic the visual language of Photoshop effects. Castator’s work uses the iPad as a tool, creating digital works later printed onto a canvas. Chapline’s pieces uses oil to create images that look almost digital in nature, uncanny and strange in their colors and geometry.
Each creation highlights not only the space between digital and physical but also the realms of memory and imagination — almost akin to the haze we get lost in when diving deep into digital spheres.
“None of the representations are necessarily those of imagination,” writes Gritsevich. “However, they are reimagined, much like when one is trying to search for a distant memory but only hazily remembers specifics.”
Emulator is on view at Gallery 151 from April 15 — June 5. For more information, click here.