A longing for the past and anxiety about the future is a universally shared sentiment in modern Western societies. Whether it is through nostalgia for one’s own history or an interest in that of another, the memories, individual and collective, that we thread together are evidence of our self-conscious existence. Lola Rose Thompson’s dark yet humorous, innocent yet cynical musings documented on a dying medium, the typewriter, attest to this need to flourish while maintaining certain roots. Influenced by the period of Marina Abromovic’s life in which she engaged in performances with Ulay, her then partner, Thompson values her friendships with other artists, the collaborations that grow from them, and moments between moments where creativity emerges.
Collaboration is essential to artist duo Husmann/Tschaeni's process. The pair work backwards, painting simultaneously in reverse on Perspex, until they achieve what they call “a hell of positive energy with a small hint of hidden otherworldly darkness mixed with visual poetry and deep sensitive natural beauty, a daily biological presence combined with absurd undefined monstrous fantasy.” Quotidian details are represented through vibrant and unnatural colors. The artists often feature children performing everyday rituals in the fantastical environments of their paintings and films, turning the worldly into the otherworldly and reality into dreams.
The joy of play should never be jettisoned. As Shane Hope demonstrates through his use of computer technology to form a series of lenticular-3D prints, curiosity about the future of imagination is what drives his artistic practice. Hope customizes user-sponsored open-source nanomolecular design software systems and then uses this software to modify, manipulate and design groups of molecular models. To build his painterly pictures, he assembles together tens of thousands of these models, resulting in fantastic compositions depicting organic, inorganic, synthesizable, theoretically feasible and nano-nonsensical molecules. This process is akin to what Hope says partially motivated his foray into things nanofactural to begin with, Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstoppers. Molecular manufacturing, artificial intelligence, and life extension technologies may make possible the printing of printers, inventing inventors, as well as the expansion of ontological wiggle-room into and across novel substrates. The resulting artworks are colorful, abstract holographic-like objects with relief-sculptural depth, which Shane equates to looking into a forthcoming nanotech toy chest.
Evan Nesbit is interested in the porosity and cognitive physicality of vision. He utilizes pattern, color and material relationships as visual devices, challenging the pictorial space of his painting and our habitual modes of perception. In his work, the imbrication of pattern and materiality activates and unifies the expansive fragments of experience. His jesting visual propositions, decidedly entrenched in the traditions of two-dimensional pictorial space, explore the multifaceted language and syntax of painting as it relates to Nesbit's own experiences. His constant striving to create intellectual uncertainty and spontaneous investigation demonstrates an understanding of our limitations and inevitable failures.
Adam Parker Smith’s tapestry made of woven friendship bracelets is symbolic of our interconnectedness. Be it through the increasingly globalized world, a testament to our technologies, or the knowledge that we are all of the same species, our friendships are what define our humanity. Parker Smith aims to mimic the human endeavor, to understand the universe through a bizarre confluence of real events, daydreams and preexisting fables. His work often offers a false sense of intimacy, a product of our ever more connected yet divorced world.