NURTUREart presented Brain Scratch, curated by Chris Romero and featuring artists Snow Yunxue Fu, Ryan Whittier Hale, Katie Torn, and Siebren Versteeg.
Brain Scratch drew inspiration from Edwin Abbot’s Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, a novel reflecting the limited capabilities of the mind. Through an interest in the digital and physical, this exhibition sought to discern a point where the two converge, creating a harmonious new reality. The title itself alludes to scratching one’s head in perplexity; the result is the alteration of our perception on what is and what may come.
For this exhibition, Romero chose artists who have created mind-bending environments that alternate fantasy and reality. Ryan Whittier Hale’s digital photographs and sculptures question the effects virtuality has on our identity and behavior. Materiality and consumerism comprise Katie Torn’s hyperrealistic dystopian images, cluttering not only the space within the image but the mind of viewers, who are likely used to the oversaturation of today’s culture. Investigations of the physical and psychological dimensions of space are a fixture in this show, as evidenced by Snow Yunxue Fu’s images, which confront us with digital manifestations of the metaphysical. Using programmed algorithms, Siebren Versteeg creates mechanized abstract paintings, allowing us to witness an art-making process as open to consistency as it is to contradiction.
While Brain Scratch did not seek to gain a complete understanding of the world we live in and our changing ways of approaching or perceiving it, it recognized that our modes of thinking have changed. The work in this exhibition aimed to interpret a new way of being and to connect us to the world at large on both virtual and physical planes.
Snow Yunxue Fu approaches the subject of the sublime using topographical computer rendered animations and installations. Ryan Whittier Hale is a visual artist who manipulates photography, video and sculpture through digital collage and 3D animation. Katie Torn employs computer programs used for Hollywood films and commercials to create experimental video works and digital prints that observe American consumerism, culture, and its impact on the environment and human body. Siebren Versteeg is an artist whose practice utilizes digital aesthetics to question the formal conventions of art – integrating historical genres of painting with computer generated imagery.
Chris Romero is a curator interested in time-based media, technology, and digital culture. He received his MA in 2012 from New York University and has curated exhibitions and events at bitforms gallery, +81 Gallery + Lab, Hyphen Hub, and TEMP art space.
See photos from the opening reception and installation HERE.
Featured image: Snow Yunxue Fu, still from The Gap 3, 2014. 3D animated loop and installation.