In the Back Room, the three artists featured in Resource claim an active role in filtering the ceaseless flow of data that overwhelms our contemporary attention spans. Acting as both filters and conduits for information streams, Justin Amrhein, Sarah Hotchkiss, and Scott Campbell create work that moderates, mediates, and tames the flood of undifferentiated content.
Justin Amrhein’s schematic drawings of mechanical parts encourage a close reading because of
their fine lines, depth of detail, and meticulous labeling, recalling the actual mechanical illustrations
one might find in an operating manual. However, the drawings have a lyricism in their delicate lines and restrained palette. Closer examination reveals the machines shown straddle the line between practical and fanciful. Sarah Hotchkiss’s drawings, collages, text banners and printed ephemera offer an idiosyncratic take on data and information. Rather than offer an authoritative voice, Hotchkiss captures the experience of being overwhelmed, providing a space for incomprehension and wonderment in the face of information overload. Curator and artist Scott Campbell creates symbol-like images derived from specific data sets, but divorces these symbols from the meaning behind their data, a strategy that allows him to disguise, reinterpret and improvise the work’s underlying meaning.