gradually melt the sky

gradually melt the sky at Devotion Gallery
a curatorial project by Mark Skwarek + Will Pappenheimer
April 8th – May 1, 2011
Opening: Friday, April 8, 7pm – 10pm.
Opening night live performances by Jeremy Bailey and Mark Skwarek at approximately 8pm.
The title of this exhibition takes its cue from the 1964 artwork-poem “Tunafish Sandwich” by Yoko Ono. The text imagines a performance event which is at once cosmic and mundane, an action painting and a protest. The artworks in this exhibition employ a recent developing technology dubbed “augmented reality” to overlay, intervene and challenge the physical world in much the same conjectural spirit as preceding Fluxus and Conceptual works.

As the influence of the virtual expands, integrates and maps itself across the material, strange objects, banal byproducts, ghost imagery and radical events appear in our homes and spatially across the landscape. Closed social systems lodged in physical hierarchies are layered, then pried open by popup media available to armies of networked creatives. AR, as this technology is abbreviated, invites artists and viewers to consider coexistent spacial realities in which anything is possible anywhere. Subliminal, aesthetic and political suggestions play themselves out as techno-disturbances in a substratasphere of online and offline experience. The cell phone or the CRT, are immaterial witness to these ephemeral dimensional objects and relational post-sculptural events. The fact that this current technology is primitive, amplifies its potency, with the extra possibility of actualization tacked on to the conceptual gesture.
Will Pappenheimer, Jan 14, 2011

Artists participating:
eteam, Jeremy Bailey, Kristin Lucas, Sander Veenhof, Tamiko Thiel, LoVid, Christopher Manzione, Geoffrey Alan Rhodes, Lily Honglei, Will Pappenheimer, Virta-Flaneurazine, 4 Gentleman, John Cleater, John Craig Freeman, Mark Skwarek, Phoenix Perry, Patrick Lichty, Alan Sondheim, Damon Baker, Arthur Peters

About John Craig Freeman

John Craig Freeman is a public artist with over twenty years of experience using emergent technologies to produce large-scale public work at sites where the forces of globalization are impacting the lives of individuals in local communities. His work seeks to expand the notion of public by exploring how digital networked technology is transforming our sense of place. Freeman is a founding member of the international artists collective Manifest.AR and he has produced work and exhibited around the world including at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, FACT Liverpool, Kunsthallen Nikolaj Copenhagen, Triennale di Milano, the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Beijing, He has had work commissioned by the ZERO1, Rhizome.org and Turbulence.org. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, El Pais, Liberation, Wired News, Artforum, Ten-8, Z Magazine, Afterimage, Photo Metro, New Art Examiner, Time, Harper's and Der Spiegel. Christiane Paul cites Freeman's work in her book Digital Art, as does Lucy Lippard in the Lure of the Local, and Margot Lovejoy in Digital Currents: Art in the Electronic Age. His writing has been published in Rhizomes, Leonardo, the Journal of Visual Culture, and Exposure. Freeman received a Bachelor of Art degree from the University of California, San Diego in 1986 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1990. He is currently a Professor of New Media at Emerson College in Boston. Freeman writes, “If Andy Warhol set out to create a distinctly American art form in the twentieth century, I identify with those who seek to create a distinctly global art form in the twenty-first.”
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