Opening Reception November 11, 2017 6-11 PM
ETA 5630 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles CA 90042
Curated by Eron Rauch and Kent Sheely
Join us for Screen Knowledges, an exhibition at ETA of art about video games, photography, and memory in the digital era. From screenshots, to glitches, to mod-ing, to Let’s Plays, to remixing art history, each artist in the exhibition is exploring diverse ways that traditional ideas of photography are being challenged and ultimately expanded to tackle our complex relationships with video games.
As part of the NELA art walk on November 11th, we invite you to the opening of Screen Knowledges starting at 6PM, with a special multimedia performance at 9PM by video game composer Isaac Schankler (Ladykiller In A Bind, Analog: A Hate Story, Reshirt, Depression Quest), video game- inspired cocktails, and an afterparty with DJ set by electronic deconstructionist Matthew Dotson.
ABOUT THE SHOW
For almost two centuries photography has been one of the main tools for humanity to know the world. Photographs have been used to preserve (or forge) memories; as a way to glimpse the far- afield (or sell its myth); and as a way to share the texture of our daily lives (or to reveal what secrets it hides). But increasingly large parts of our lives are being spent in front of screens, inhabiting digital non-places forged of electrical impulses routed across geographic borders and nano-scale technological architectures in the breath of times we can hardly imagine.
Especially with the rise of videogames as a cultural force, with over half of Americans purportedly playing videogames at least once a week, these lush screen-realms are an increasingly intimate part of our personal histories. Yet, if we travel to the beach, we can snap and post a quick photo, us sunburned, our friends happily tipsy, the waves sparkling behind. If we are in, or more accurately sitting in our underwear in the dark, being bathed only by photons spat from a panel, how can we share our moments of joy and grief visiting these binary-spawned secret gardens? What might we learn about photography, ourselves, and how both are changed by this new relationship?
Screen Knowledges brings together six artists who have unique answers to these questions:
Kent Sheely is a pioneer of screenshot and in-game photography, and his new project documents his insistent abuse of developer tools to peel away the slick surfaces that make the glossy forever-war of the modern First Person Shooter so enticing. Dataerase is the alias of one of the masters of the glitch, her images relentlessly highlighting the fragility of the math that holds the images of our digital bodies together, but also serve as a complex meta-documentation of fringe Japanese dating and porn games. M. Earl Williams adopts Ed Ruscha’s wry but incisive methods, recreating his infamous Twentysix Gasoline Stations book, but using a view camera aimed at the pixelated pumps of Grand Theft Auto V. Leo Sang’s Back Seats delves into a familiar topic to Angelenos, photograph’s fetish for speed, travel, and cars, and the unease that comes with a landscape racing past in all its incompleteness through a passenger window, only in this case frozen by a virtual camera. With his new work, Valhalla Nocturnes, Eron Rauch uses hand-held cameras set for long exposure times to show the hallucinogenic dissolution and recombination of body and screen in self-portraits shot during hazy late-night video gaming sessions. Akaash Collet’s works draw inspiration from British land artists to propose new relationships to the demands of commercial digital spaces through mixed documentation of both screenshots and camera images of solo performances taken in video games.
—Eron Rauch, November 2017
Leo Sang, Backseats in Games, 2015-