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This is a still from a video by Julie Orser. In the still, a female figure wearing a dark red dress is entering an artist studio. She is in the forground on the left side peering into the large art space. There is a gray floor with high ceilings and art tools and supplies throughout the room.

REWIRING

ARCHIVE MACHINES brings together recent works by Southern California artists that examine the archive as a conceptual vehicle to de-center singular narratives and encourage plural perspectives through the activities of revisioning, resisting, rewiring and relating. 

 

While an archive “machine” connotes a mechanism for telling one’s own story, it is imperative to study the operative mechanics to grasp what may need repairing or even reprogramming. The concept of “rewiring” extends this metaphor to explore opportunities for unlearning the circuitries and systems that may harm or hinder outputs—whether internalized or externalized. The artists in this section examine modes of representation and processes of seeing, interpreting and participating with circulated imagery—questioning tropes and archetypes that can form implicit biases and stereotypes. 

 

Artists Tianyi Sun, Arezoo Bharthania, Kyle Tata and Tom Comitta employ abstraction as a tool for deconstructing and reconstructing images as a method for stimulating multiple perspectives. Sasha Bergstrom-Katz, stephanie mei huang, Ahree Lee and Julie Orser examine patterns of perception and biases imbued on objects, people, and their experiences, tracing the sociological and psychological impacts of objectification. David Kelley, Lena Pozdnyakova and Eldar Tagi and Camille Wong’s self-reflexive works chart processes of reading what may lie beneath clichés, locating shifts in attention and subconscious searchings.

Tianyi Sun

This is a color still image from an animated GIF by Tianyi Sun. The image features various layered forms, textures, images, and texts. The colors range from beige, yellow, pink, grey, green and red. The textures resemble paper, fabric and other paper documents. Some of the text reads super ugly, what are you on about?? and I can not, trust me.

Artist Statement

“Sun’s transdisciplinary works rupture language, syntax, and perspective to invalidate and recreate the processes in which information is encoded, re-coded, and interpreted. She interweaves painting, textiles, documentation, written text, and digital film to reimagine the once stationary archive into a fluid algorithm that now moves within the accelerated waves of digital information. Revealing a fragmented depository, one we already inhabit and arbitrarily contribute to daily with metadata. How do we extract meaning within this? Are they transactional snapshots, or a psychological landscape?”

top to bottom

 

1. Unable to Sync Voice Audio [EP2], digital GIF, dimensions dependent on screen, 2019.

courtesy of the artist

2. Object + 180815, digital video, 3:41, 2020.

courtesy of the artist

Biography

Tianyi Sun is a Chinese artist from the UK and is currently working in Los Angeles. Growing up with a discontinuous sense of home and language, she became a vessel of conflicting interpretations, with only memories as an impermanent anchor. She was in constant negotiation with her words, striving to form a collection of definitions and weave them into something continuous. But through translation meaning is lost, words cease to exist, histories misunderstood, and wordless memories forced to forget. Sun received her BA from the University of Washington and MFA from Otis College of Art and Design. 

Arezoo Bharthania

This is a color photograph of a sculptural work by Arezoo Bharthania. The work features several pieces of suspended paper and fabric in various colors and prints. The prints include floral motifs and abstract designs. Some of the pieces appear to be adhered directly to the wall, while others are hanging from a metal rod. Some of the pieces also overalp with one another, creating a 3-D effect.

Artist Statement

“My work reflects the experience of archiving and creating a home while existing in a state of in-between. It is a narrative formed through layers and gestures that blend my childhood and early adulthood in Iran with my current life in Los Angeles. The space I occupy is navigated through the bodily experience of womanhood and a balance of dichotomies: public and private, here and there. The homes that I have inhabited across geographies represent a multilayered construction of identity influenced by interdependent forces that define roles, govern behavior and order power relationships.”

left to right

1. LAX/IKA – IKA/LAX, multimedia, 90 x 108 x 12 inches, 2020.

courtesy of the artist

2. (detail view)

3. (detail view)

Biography

Arezoo Bharthania is an interdisciplinary Los Angeles-based artist. She has received her MA from California State University, Northridge, and her MFA from California State University, Long Beach.

 

Bharthania has exhibited her work throughout United States and internationally such as Qipo Fair, in Mexico City, Laundromat Art Space, Miami, PØST Gallery along with Laura Salmon’s performance, Brand Library, Torrance Art Museum, Art Baboo146, Yokohama, Japan, University Art Museum of Long Beach, Ground Space Projects, Seaver Gallery and many more. She is the member of Durden and Ray collective.

Kyle Tata

In this color photograph by Kyle Tata, various triangular shapes with abstract images make up the composition. The colors of the triangular shapes range from brown, orange, tan, white and black. The abstract images in some of the triangular shapes resemble architectural interiors. This work is part of the artist's Ship of Theseus, a body of work that examines the indexical remnants left on a museum’s architecture during times of destruction and reconstruction.

Artist Statement

“Drawing inspiration from my own experiences working as an art handler in museum collections throughout Los Angeles, ‘Ship of Theseus’ is a body of work that examines the indexical remnants left on a museum’s architecture during times of destruction and reconstruction. I focus on the moments where traces of individuals are revealed within the sterility of institutions. In combining found archival imagery with my own photographs these images exist in a metaphysical realm that compares the site of the archive to human perceptions of memory and legacy.”

left to right

 

1. Marginalia #1, archival inkjet print, 30 x 20 inches, 2019.

courtesy of the artist

2. Wall Relief #1, archival inkjet print, 24 x 16 inches, 2019.

courtesy of the artist

3. Ahmanson Building Composition #3, archival inkjet print, 40 x 30 inches, 2019.

courtesy of the artist

Biography

Kyle Tata is a Los Angeles based artist working with photography. His work has been featured at galleries and institutions such as the Walters Art Museum (Baltimore, MD, 2014 & 2017), Hamiltonian Gallery (Washington, DC 2017), The International Print Center (New York, NY 2013), Sputnik Press & Gallery (Chicago, IL, 2014), Silvermine Arts Center (New Canaan, CT, 2014), His artist books are held in the library collections of The International Center for Photography (New York, NY) and the Indie Photobook Library (Washington, DC). He is currently pursuing his MFA at UCLA.

Tom Comitta

Artist Statement

In 1947 The House Un-American Activities Committee interrogated Bertolt Brecht about his allegiance to the Communist Party. In the process, investigator Robert Stripling read aloud a number of Brecht’s poems as evidence against him. “Stripling Does Brecht” collects every instance of Stripling addressing Brecht and reciting his words, transforming them into a communist techno sound poetry album. Repurposed and musicalized, Stripling’s performance of Brecht’s words becomes both a parodic alternative history and a direct intervention into the language-material that HUAC weaponized for its reactionary purposes. Stripling Does Brecht investigates the politics of the past (‘the red scare’) and how they echo in and shape our contemporary moment.

1. Stripling Does Brecht, audio, 9:10, 2018.

courtesy of artist

 

ADA Accessibility Experience

Biography

Tom Comitta is an artist and writer living in Los Angeles. He has exhibited at MOCA Grand, Los Angeles; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; LUMA Foundation, Zurich; swissnex, San Francisco; Reed College, Portland; and The Kala Art Institute, Berkeley. His books include ? (Ugly Ducking Presse), Airport Novella (Troll Thread), SENT (Invisible Venue), First Thought Worst Thought: Collected Books 2011-2014 (Gauss PDF), a print and digital archive of the 40 books he produced in four years, and The Nature Book (forthcoming from Coffee House Press).

Sasha Bergstrom-Katz

This is a color photograph by Sasha Bergstrom-Katz. The object featured in the photograph is of a 20th century intelligence kit. The kit is featured in a light brown briefcase propped upright that contains two books; on the left is a white book with a dark blue design and on the right is a dark blue fabric covered book. They are held upright by two tan straps with snap buttons. Below the books are various small compartments containing different objects in colors ranging from dark blue, green, orange and red.

Artist Statement

On the Subject of Tests is an archive comprised of over 800 photographs of intelligence tests developed in the United States. Part of an expansive ongoing project, this archive explores the aesthetic dimensions of commonly used 20th Century intelligence tests in relationship to their entanglement in the history of eugenics, military and prison regimes and the neoliberalisation of workplaces and schools. The photographs explore the tests’ visual cultures by training a careful eye to each and every object within each kit and looking to see what morals and messages leak through.”

left to right

 

1. On the Subject of Tests: Stanford-Binet 2 (1973) Full Kit. Open., digital photograph, 2020.

courtesy of the artist

2. On the Subject of Tests: Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – Revised (WAIS-R) (1981) Block Design., digital photograph, 2020.

courtesy of the artist

3. On the Subject of Tests: Comparison of Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) (1955) (L) and …, digital photograph, 2020.

courtesy of the artist

Biography

Sasha Bergstrom-Katz (she/her) is an artist living between Los Angeles and London. Her work looks at how the human sciences (particularly the psy-disciplines) produce people as subjects and is specifically interested in how the subject is re-presented to itself through examination, study and diagnosis. She is a current PhD Candidate in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, University of London and holds an MFA from the University of California, Irvine.

stephanie mei huang

This is a color photograph by Sasha Bergstrom-Katz. The objects featured in the photograph depict a 20th century intelligence kit. The objects range from (starting left to right): a small spiral notebook depicting a black and white drawing of the American flag with the number 11 written in the top left corner, and another small spiral notebook depicting drawn images of a female character looking in the mirror putting lipstick on with the number 11 placed in the upper left corner.

Artist Statement

“My most recent ongoing body of work, the foul lump in my throat, is a study in racial melancholia and racial grief, in examining why we fixate, even devour that which we are excluded from. The foul lump is a reference to a line by John Yau, in which the Chinese American narrator states: ‘A foul lump started making promises in my voice.’ If we consider the foul lump to be a repulsive object that hijacks the Chinese American subject’s racialized body for the vocalization of others, we must consider how the lump arrives in the larynx in the first place.”

1. white vegetable i, 16mm transferred to digital, 3:00, 2020.

courtesy of the artist

Biography

stephanie mei huang is a Los Angeles-based multidisciplinary artist. Her work finds its roots in globalization and the role of displacement in changing perceptions of nationhood, loss, and identity. She uses a diverse range of media and strategies including film/video, installation, sculpture, writing, and painting. She recently completed her MFA at the California Institute of the Arts (2020). She is the recipient of a Getty Foundation grant. She will have solo exhibitions at 4th Ward Project Space in Chicago and Hauser and Wirth Book and Printed Matter Lab, Los Angeles in the coming year.

Ahree Lee

This is a color photograph of a work by Ahree Lee. The image features a close up of eight pieces of small paper are wrapped with different color fabric ranging from taupe, blue, green, and grey with words written on the paper to the left of the fabric. From top to bottom, the words or labels say Sleep, Personal Care, Food, Housework, Childcare, Work Non-Household, Art and Leisure. To the right of these samples is a portion of a woven piece that includes the fabric used in the samples.

Artist Statement

Pattern : Code illuminates the hidden connections between weaving and computing by examining interrelationships among technology, craft, and women’s labor. It features weavings and video inspired by code, algorithms, and self-generated labor data. The word ‘technology’ comes from the Greek ‘techne,’ meaning ‘art’ or ‘craft,’ and the same technology that runs Jacquard weaving looms was used in the first computers, which were programmed mostly by women. Pattern : Code seeks to restore memory and flip the script on the male-dominated tech narrative.”

left to right

 

1. Timesheet: November 4-10, 2018 (detail view), weaving, 40 x 70 inches, 2019

courtesy of the artist

2. Timesheet: November 4-10, 2018, weaving, 40 x 70 inches, 2019.

courtesy of the artist

bottom

 

3. Pattern : Code, digital video, 3:00, 2019.

courtesy of the artist

Biography

Ahree Lee is a multi-disciplinary artist working in video, new media, and textiles. She received her B.A. from Yale University and her M.F.A. from Yale School of Art. Her commissions include the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the 01SJ Biennial, the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art and the Sundance Channel. She was Artist in Residence at the Women’s Center for Creative Work in the fall of 2019, has an upcoming residency at Santa Fe Art Institute, and is a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Award nominee.

Julie Orser

This is a still from a video by Julie Orser. In the still, a female figure wearing a dark red dress is entering an artist studio. She is in the forground on the left side peering into the large art space. There is a gray floor with high ceilings and art tools and supplies throughout the room.

Artist Statement

NotAMuse is the second work in my Unknown Artist series probing gender stereotypes and visual clichés of fictional artist characters within a collective cinematic history of preexisting film and television. NotAMuse examines the assumptions Hollywood cinema uses to communicate ‘artist’ on-screen and his role as the maker and keeper of representations of women.”

1. NotAMuse (Unknown Artist, vol.2), HD video, appropriated films and television, 5:07, 2020

courtesy of the artist

 

ADA Accessibility Experience

Biography

Julie Orser received her MFA in Studio Art from California Institute of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited at Luckman Gallery (Los Angeles), Christopher Grimes Gallery (Santa Monica), the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, MoMA (New York), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), The Gallery Loop (Seoul), Il Magazzino d’Arte Moderna (Rome), and Ann Arbor Film Festival. Orser is a recipient of the 2010 CCF Visual Artist Fellowship and the 2014 CCI Investing in Artists grant. Julie lives in Los Angeles and is an Associate Professor in Creative Photography & Experimental Media at Cal State Fullerton.

David Kelley

This is a color photograph by David Kelley of an individual of Asian descent wearing a white robe and black boots. The individual is laying on their side in a grassy field, smiling and looking straight ahead. There is also a laptop propped up by the individual's hands.

Artist Statement

“I traveled to Baotou, Inner Mongolia in 2019 to make this series of photographs about the rare earth mining industry. Baotou is the ‘rare earth mining capital of the world.’ Rare earth elements are essential in making digital cameras, as well as most computer screens and batteries. Rare earth mining is highly polluting and resulted in grave damage to the environment and public health. I chose to work with the idiom of commercial stock photography to avoid censorship from local authorities and produce hybrid images that simultaneously function as documentary as well as blanks for commercial advertising.”

left to right

 

1. China-East Asia, Inner Mongolia, Adult, Adults Only, Agricultural Field, Beauty, Business, Computer, Data, Happiness, Horizontal, Internet, Laptop, Lifestyle, Males, Men, Nature, One Man Only, Outdoor, Rural Scene, Technology, Using Laptop, Wireless Technology, Working, Young Men, photography, 44 x 58 inches, 2020

courtesy of the artist

2. China-East Asia, Inner Mongolia, Group of People, Society, Adult, Adults Only, Aspirations, Beautiful People, Business, Colleague, Dancer, Employee, Fashion Model, Armed Forces, Happiness, Inner Mongolia, Manual Labor, Military, Mongolian Culture, Teamwork, Success, Togetherness, Men, Military, Women, Working, Young Women, photography, 44 x 58 inches, 2020.

courtesy of the artist

3. China-East Asia, Inner Mongolia, Girl, Hugging, Soldier, Men, Military, Smiling, Armed Forces, Army Soldier, Embracing, Family, Love-Emotion, Absence, Arrival, Bonding, Camouflage Clothing, Child, Daughter, Defending, Fathers, Females, Hugging Self, Insurance, Mongolian Culture, Mongolian Ethnicity, Veteran, War, Women, Working, photography, 44 x 44 inches, 2020.

courtesy of the artist

Biography

David Kelley is an artist working with photography, video, and installation. His work is a hybrid of experimental documentary, conceptual and ethnographic practices that make use of speculative, choreographic, and performative strategies. Recently, his work has been shown at the Louvre in Paris, Museum of Modern Art in New York, and House of World Culture in Berlin. Other recent exhibitions include Commonwealth and Council in Los Angeles, The Bank in Shanghai, New Art Center, BAK in Utrecht, MAAP space Brisbane, Australia.

Lena Pozdnyakova
and Eldar Tagi

This is a color still from a video of a sound-based sculpture by the artist duo Lena Pozdnyakova and Eldar Tagi. The sculpture is a rectangular shape and consists of various discarded materials of different sizes, including (starting top and moving clockwise) a white ice cube tray, concrete, a brown cloth, wood board, brown paper napkin, yellow and blue plastic decorative parts, and three different strands of blue and red wires. Two of the wires are connected to a circular silver piece placed on top of the concrete fragment, while the other wire is placed on top of a silver fragment in the center of the work, affixed with masking tape.

Artist Statement

“The project is part of ongoing research of the Anthropocene, with its materiality presented in junk, ‘abjected’ societal produce, abandoned pieces and found objects that were once made and experienced by people. These artifacts, sourced from the streets, thrift stores and junkyards become descriptive elements—‘sounding’ micro-models of the world. In this sense, sculptures create a peculiar archive of the current time and people. Hybrid sculptures are context and time-specific pieces that get explored through the resonant feedback of materials and parts.”

1. Attention Environment 1, sound sculpture (video documentation), 1:36, 2019.

courtesy of the artist

 

ADA Accessibility Experience

Biography

The2vvo is an artist duo based in Los Angeles, made up of Eldar Tagi (sound) and Lena Pozdnyakova (sculpture). Lena is an alumna of the Design Theory and Pedagogy program at the SCI-Arc in Los Angeles. Eldar Tagi is an independent composer of electronic music, sound artist, and improviser. He studied at Musicians Institute in Los Angeles and at the UCLA Extension. Nomadic in nature, the duo traveled extensively, participating in festivals, such as Unsound, CTM, Bauhausfest, Soundpedro, participating in residences (Kuona Trust, Nairobi, Kenya, CEC Artslink, Los Angeles, CA).

Camille Wong

Artist Statement

“This work is an interactive website that explores the search engine as an ongoing cultural artifact, archiving the desires and interests of the user. Using 38,000 Google searches culled from my browser history from 2014 to the present, this piece revisits a collection of half-forgotten intentions. The visitor is greeted by the text ‘Here’s what I found on…’ Upon click, a search query from this database is returned, inviting another click and another search until fragments of the coder’s identity are revealed. Underscoring this piece is the implicit bias embedded in all codes & design systems.”

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https://hereswhatifoundon.me

1. Here’s what I found on, web-based media, dimensions variable, 2020.

courtesy of the artist

Biography

Camille Wong was born in Oakland, California and holds B.A.s in Art and Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is interested in understanding the human inclination to domesticate, colonize, and dominate. Her practice seeks to reconcile sustainability and environmental justice with our capitalist society. Her work has been shown at the Art, Design, & Architecture Museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and she has exhibited her work throughout artist-run spaces in Los Angeles including Monte Vista Projects, Art Share LA, and Blueroof Studios.