Alexander Ian Smith BFA Thesis Fall 2011
How Are You Feeling About The Weather? Value, Meaning and the Post-Internet Art Object
This project is about questioning the nature of objects. At this point I would like to introduce several questions. What is the object that results from a questioning of objects and how then are we to understand this object? What does it mean? When discussing the contemporary art object we must also address the contemporary conditions that allow for its existence. The internet presents an abstract relationship between object, space, artist, viewer, meaning and value allowing the paradoxical qualities of the contemporary art object to emerge. I will examine the rhizomatic structure of this relationship (as defined by Deleuze and Guattari) and look to Derrida for insight into dealing with the hysteria that surrounds the language of art. I will also address contemporary artists and writers such as Brad Troemel and Artie Vierkant who deal with the complex qualities of the internet as a platform for dispersion as well as a contextual platform for trying to understand the meaning and value (or lack thereof) of objects.
In my visual thesis, I will explore how objects can confound interpretation and abstract our relationship to them. I will also address context and meaning/value and our ability to assign these to the art-object. I am handling these issues through the curation of a group exhibition which features art by seven different artists located locally, nationally, and internationally. The artists address objects in different ways and through varying materials including digital prints, video and mixed media sculpture. On their own each artist raises critical questions about the nature of objects. But, what happens collectively? Does the building of context around a lack of context, or an abstract context give the art no meaning, or does it give it some new meaning?
Group exhibition curated by Alex Ian Smith December 2011 in the Higgins Gallery, PNCA. Featuring the work of Alex Dolan (Portland), Debo Eilers (NYC), Christian Falsnaes (Copenhagen), Ida Lehtonen (Berlin), Kyle Raquipiso (Portland), Daniel White (Sacramento) and Jeremy Zierau (NYC).