Daniel Keller

Stack 1, 2014

3d printed plastic, resin, alumide, multicolor sandstone, brass rod, marijuana ash, lint, soil, rubbed flowers, leaves and fixative, 'offgridtech' monocrystalline photovoltaic panel, vinyl text, 3 mon

140 × 50 × 60 cm


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Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

photo credit: def image, Berlin

Artwork
Description

The artwork is characterised by a great diversity of media, including among other things: sandstone, soil, leaves, resin, 3d printed plastic, vinyl, marijuana ash, brass and rubbed flowers. These different materials become elemental and Keller juxtaposes overtly organic objects with synthetic parts. The artist exploits this multiplicity of media to create a dialogue between the different parts of the stacked structure.

Stack1 explores the connections between technology and ecology. The balance of the tower is precarious as the elements do not naturally fit together: the flat smooth surfaces of the manufactured objects contrasting with the irregular, uneven forms of the organic objects. The instability of the structure produces a tension that mirrors the strained relationship between the ecological and technological.

The elements balance on top of each other like mismatched building blocks. Their balancing act mimics rock formations found in the natural landscape, yet the fact that the discordant structure is able to stay upright is in itself unnatural. This attempt at synthesis between the organic and the synthetic probes the liminal spaces that exist between them.

The act of stacking forms a commentary on architecture and the innately human practice of construction. The objects’ meticulous ordering is entirely unnatural and so too are some of the elements within it. Keller draws attention to man’s interference in his natural environment and queries the intrusion of the technological into the natural world.

Within the structure the artist includes a three month supply of emergency food for one person. The boxes themselves are inconspicuous and appear wholly unremarkable yet are heavy with histrionic implications. Just as the apparent instability of the stacking creates tension, the elements are loaded with latent drama.

About
the artist

Daniel Keller (b. 1986), was born in Detroit and  lives and works in Berlin. In 2012 he became Director of Absolute Vitality Inc, a Wyoming based corporation-sculpture co-owned by the artist and a group of private collectors. He co-organized TEDxVaduz with Simon Denny, which was held at the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein in December 2013.

The subject of Daniel Keller’s work resonates from an amalgamation of travel, polarised global societies and technological change. His works engage with issues at the intersection of economics, technology, culture and collaboration. Keller merges and melds these concerns to comment on contemporary culture and ecological/environmental affairs. Moreover, Keller’s works frequently refer to architectural elements and materials; with his ongoing investigation into the urban manmade environment he creates a visual commentary on our constructed surroundings.

A large part of Keller’s practice negotiates between the local and global dimensions of ecology and economies. He plays with the role of the "prosumer", a term coined by Alvin Toffler in the early 1970s, in which the progression of new technologies predicted an increasing crossover between the roles of the producer and the consumer. The artist’s current focus of research is on speculative notions of progress, technological disruption and reaction from the perspective of a post-studio "prosumer" artist operating within the global networked economy.

Keller imitates forms and materials taken from nature to bring out the tension between urban planning and an organic spatial landscape. He uses materials such as concrete, resin, rocks and wood to magnify his message. At the same time, Keller makes mixed media and often web-related works creating immersive physical/digital spaces. As a result, the artist's oeuvre asks the audience to rationally question the synthesis of organic materials into the technological. His works offer critical awareness and urge the public, in a subtle way, to form opinions about various environmental and technological issues.

Keller, alongside the artist Nik Kosmas form a collective called AIDS-3D which explores techno-utopianism along with other popular notions of progress. Recent projects have included the series Ideal Work (Creative Solutions) (2010–2011), multi-coloured solar panels styled after Mondrian canvases and OMG Obelisk (2007).


The subject of Daniel Keller’s work resonates from an amalgamation of travel, polarised global societies and technological change. His works engage with issues at the intersection of economics, technology, culture and collaboration. Keller merges and melds these concerns to comment on contemporary culture and ecological/environmental affairs.

He uses materials such as concrete, resin, rocks and wood to magnify his message. At the same time, Keller makes mixed media and often web-related works creating immersive physical/digital spaces. As a result, the artist’s oeuvre asks the audience to rationally question the synthesis of organic materials into the technological.


Daniel Keller
on Artuner

Part of the
exhibition