The Zach Nader exhibition currently up at Microscope Gallery in Bushwick (February 17 – March 26) picks up on several of the themes we’ve addressed, and will be addressing, this semester:
- Yue’s concern with the way that our media’s material properties, and the technical processes required to produce and preserve them, privilege particular representations of the body. These material affordances are further inflected by particular cultural values (e.g., what constitutes “flesh tone”)
- As Yue notes, may digital artists — with little need for their own “China Girls” — play with calibration processes and technical standards. Nader’s work fits into this category.
- And Nicole Starosielski and Tega Brain will likely address similar “materialist” themes when they visit.
- Obfuscation and invisibility and techniques of seeing are key themes in Hito Steyerl’s work, too.
- One of Nader’s interests is the “hacked vernacular” — which raises questions that Sekula has also posed, regarding how to marshal, modify, and meld media to represent the everyday.
From the gallery:
Nader pushes photographic software editing tools to their extremes to expose the structures and processes lying beneath the highly scripted surfaces of digital images. And, with an interest in the blending of automated systems with the human hand, the artist also incorporates personal marks such as drawings, tracings and erasures.
“I look for ways to set the actors against the image, image against image, software against image, to use software script as mark, software script to overwrite previous marks, and make automated interjections. What new can be created out of existing images and software? What happens when everything is a screen, a site for an image?” – ZN
For more, see Microscope Gallery.