Artie Vierkant

Image Object Sunday 2 December 2014 5:59PM, 2014

UV Print on Dibond

203 × 203 cm


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Artwork
Description

Artie Viekrant’s current practice blurs the boundaries between digital and physical world. Although his pieces exist in the latter as sturdy PVC printed sculptures mounted on walls, their digital permanence is equally pivotal to their understanding. Indeed, the artist is interested not only in the first phase of their life as digital files, but also in their long-lasting proliferation as found images on the Internet. Such multifarious character of his work is evident right from its beginning, where it starts out as a digital file which exists in multiple and varied, protean shapes and appearances. Ultimately, Viekrant selects a version of the file, which is UV printed on dibond and subsequently cut to assume the self-contradictory aspect of an object that is both sharp and unfocused. This is due to the contrast between the cutting edges of the sculptures and the softly pixelated paint strokes which meld to yield such amphibious existence to the artworks. Once the sculptures are exhibited in a gallery space, they are immortalised as installation shots and as such – these ‘image-objects’ – they circulate in the digital sphere through gallery websites, publications and other unpredictable places. Such journey does not, and is not meant to, leave them unaltered; in fact they get further modified by Photoshop manipulations, with blurs, smears and clone brushings.

Indeed, Viekrant’s Image Objects are perfect examples of what the Silicon Valley novelist Robin Sloan calls flip-flop – a piece of art that is created in the real world, subsequently injected into the digital one and finally reappears in physical form, potentially even on a loop. With his sculptures, the artist mirrors contemporary society’s inurement to the often repetitive and trivial circulation of images, which on the other hand could supply the basis for a virtually endless set of different modifications. The Image Object is the product of a culture that expects total and constant digitisation of its outputs: after the necessities of the Internet are satisfied, the force and potentiality of networked social and collaborative gestures considerably increases. The technology required to physically create the sculptures and that employed for its further manipulation and online distribution, is essentially the same, namely Photoshop. This makes Image Object at the same time a symbol and a critique of the culture that has produced it.

About
the artist

Artie Vierkant (b. 1986, Breinerd, MN) studied Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, and graduated with an MFA at the University of California. He now lives and works in New York.

Vierkant makes art that is centred upon the importance of representation across media. This is evidenced throughout his practice, whether in the documentation or the process of creating his works. The interaction between physical and digital entities propagates debates related to both the development of art in a “post-internet” age and to its contemporaneous Intellectual Property rights.

Vierkant's work often exists within the nexus of the physical and the digital, resulting in a hybridisation, illustrated in his decisive exhibition Image-Object, in which works were photographed and then transformed. There is a definite tangible element, communicated through photography, which necessitates the capturing of a physical object. However, by altering the compositions digitally, something fundamentally different and physically nonexistent is created. A digital-image-only existence. Accordingly, Vierkant subverts the conventional teleology of art, which usually ends with the exhibition. This speaks to the evolution of an increasingly digitised culture, in which online interactions are rapidly overtaking physical encounters. In The Image-Object Post Internet Vierkant views his work as a part of a system of meaning, where “Post-Internet objects and images are developed with concern to their particular materiality as well as their vast variety of methods of presentation and dissemination.” Resultantly, the materials he uses, such as aluminum, stainless steel and fibreglass, become representative of the current technological apex.

There is also a concern represented in his exploration of Intellectual Property, where mental creations are labeled as conceptual entities. This form of commodity, enmeshed into social structures, becomes a material that can be used as such or acquired and incorporated into an artwork. This involves a transaction and transmutation; just like any physical material there are limits related to its use. However, these are based upon legal limitations imposed by the owner. This creates a discourse, taking place between boundaries, exploring changing relationships between the virtual and the real and confounding classification. Through his work, Vierkant becomes a sculptor in a traditional sense, a digital artist and a digital sculptor. Each composition contains physical and digital elements, which are integrated into a systemic relationship advancing technologies, branded materials and other Intellectual Property variants.


Vierkant makes art that is centred upon the importance of representation across media. This is evidenced throughout his practice, whether in the documentation or the process of creating his works. The interaction between physical and digital entities propagates debates related to both the development of art in a “post-internet” age and to its contemporaneous Intellectual Property rights.

There is also a concern represented in his exploration of Intellectual Property, where mental creations are labeled as conceptual entities. This form of commodity, enmeshed into social structures, becomes a material that can be used as such or acquired and incorporated into an artwork.


Artie Vierkant
on Artuner

Part of the
exhibition

December 8th, 2014 until
February 25th, 2015
Curated by Kirsty Ogg