March 31May 20, 2012
JODI: Street Digital
In the Changing Exhibitions Gallery
Working under the moniker JODI, the artist duo Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans rose to prominence in the mid-1990s as pioneers of “net.art,” an artistic movement that explored the nascent World Wide Web as an alternative exhibition space and a creative medium in its own right. JODI quickly became notorious for eyepopping websites and software that seemed to take over one’s computer, earning a reputation as the enfants terribles of the early Web.
Today, digital technology has left the desktop computer behind and moved into the world at large. Paralleling this shift, this exhibition brings together a range of works made by JODI between 1999 and the present that explore the way that media technologies frame our experience of the street.
In LED Puzzled (2012), a digital signage system has been scrambled to create brightly flashing geometric abstractions, as if the giant screens in Times Square had suddenly run amok. Other works explore on-screen images of the street. Burnout (History of Car Games) (2004–2012) is a collection of video recordings of JODI playing a series of driving games produced over the past fifteen years. They screech their tires and do “donuts,” spinning in circles over and over, making the piece equal parts media history and slapstick farce.
JODI’s work updates the late 1960s tradition of structural film, with its interest in taking apart the medium of cinema, for the era of ubiquitous technology. Whether working with early websites or mobile phones, they approach technology with gleeful iconoclasm, an appreciation of the absurd, and a penchant for sensory overload, calling attention to the underlying structures behind every digital screen.
Guest curated by Michael Connor.