The Wrong–Digital Art Biennale: Inside the Artists Studio with Aaron Scheer
Offsite Project, Online Exhibition
January 6 - January 31, 2018
Danielle Gorodenzik was invited to curate a new configuration for the Off Site Project “Inside the Artist’s Studio with Aaron Scheer” part of The Wrong – New Digital Art Biennale.
Text by Aaron Scheer:
The studio, a mythic site of artistic creativity, has for centuries been a cultural preoccupation. Successive mediums have found ways to transcribe the solitary world of the artist to their public, crafting and cultivating notions of artists as special creatures, beyond easy comprehension. From oil painting to photography, to film and TV documentaries, we have been gifted partial insight into their lives. Constantly we wish to know more about the environments that spark their ‘genius’.
Now, in 2017, increasingly being split between studios IRL and studios URL, we again reach for a different vocabulary of expression: How to surmise a history of Google searches, or hours spent cultivating a following on Instagram, or the arrangement of virtual folders, be them meticulous or messy. Off Site Project has partnered with German artist Aaron Scheer, for The Wrong - New Digital Art Biennale, in an attempt to develop a new way of studio portraiture.
Inside the Artists Studio… began with an extended interview probing not only Scheer’s motivations and intentions as an artist, but also his interests, habits, Spotify playlists, and favorite computer programs. It concludes with the presentation of materials that collectively make up a fractured representation of Scheer’s world, his studio space, and the spaces he inhabits through his laptop and phone. Spaces that he constantly, and seamlessly, transitions across as a vital fact of his artistic existence.
Playing upon the aesthetics of Apple Mac interfaces, a thematic of Scheer’s practice, the exhibition appears as a ‘screen within a screen’, an interactive artwork / curated set of materials. The pieces can be moved, repositioned and shaped by the viewer, much like the computer browser they are viewing it on. Behind each of the eleven thumbnail windows are pieces of information that collectively build towards insight and examination into the artistic mechanics personal to Scheer. One page shows screen recordings, another breaks a single artwork into hundreds of HTML color codes. Photographs of print workshops are accompanied by virtual studio screenshots. Artistic inspirations are conflated with the daily collection of iPhone images. In this way, the real and the digital, the cultured and the personal, are all given equal billing, all seen as integral aspects.
The exhibition revels in hidden codes: the information on the show isn’t always straightforward, sometimes it is obscured, sometimes deliberately impenetrable. Explaining, whilst keeping something of the mystery at arms length.
Inside the Artists Studio with Aaron Scheer is accompanied by a feature on Curating the Contemporary, an edited version of the interview which took place between artist and gallery.
Off Site Project is an online exhibition space curated by Pita Arreola and Elliott Burns.