Joseph Nechvatal, my friend and intellectual compadre in viral realms, has his latest exhibition in Ohio. “Contaminations” has been extended to run through June 25th at the Butler Institute of American Art’s Beecher Center. The show includes a selection of computer-robotic assisted paintings starting in the mid-1980’s and concludes with a recent electronic viral installation.
Joseph Nechvatal: Contaminations
Or if you happen to be in Youngstown, Ohio:
The Beecher Center for Technology in the Arts
Butler Institute of American Arts
524 Wick Ave. Youngstown, Ohio 44502
While you’re visiting his website, be sure to see the new nOOlOgy : guilt of a nation. Here is his introduction:
In art, pleasure is a most legitimate aspiration. Still one may not ignore that people all over the world today bend-over painfully and act in accordance with seemingly normal systems of control: noological systems (*) that may seem at the time logically inevitable.
My current chain of history paintings called “the new nOOlOlogy” are based on a fraction of the infamous digital photos from the Abu Graib abuse scandal. As such, they present embedded images of American torture. Here American detainees are punished and humiliated and then adorned through an a-life process of viral attack laden with the latent content of ambiguous bioterror. These digital (computer-robotic) acrylic paintings link together systems of exposed nerves with the torture at Abu Graib – now festooned with miniature hermaphrodites infected by viral attacks that undermine them.
For me they are an attempt at expressing America’s deep demoralization. They are moral acts then, free with the truth of our penchant for desire. As such, these paintings contribute slightly to the downfall of the present reality in that they bury visual memory at the outset.
To those that persist in the amorality of Abu Graib, I shit on you. You have discredited me by creating a rotting nation. Although I have opposed you at every turn, never-the-less, you have made me feel guilty and dirty too, as only a single officer has been reprimanded for this disgraceful display thus far.
This artistic activity, in tribute to Leon Golub, is a conscious response to the world of irrational conventions in which I can find even myself.
(*) Noology is the science of intellectual phenomena. n. study of intuition and reason. nooscopic, a. pertaining to examination of mind.
And as if all that weren’t enough, he has a brilliant article (“Jean Baudrillard and a Counter-Mannerist Art of Latent Excess“) in the latest issue of the International Journal of Baudrillard Studies (Volume 3, Number 2 – July 2006).
Intellectual acumen, creative artistry, ethics and tech – this guy stuns me, always. Keep it going Joseph! You are an oasis in the desert.