Wallace's works arrive to us out of a glitch he is creating in a production process. In a series of subtly transformed shipping boxes the artist completed in 2016, he laser cuts anodyne statements onto cardboard boxes to expose errors where the ad space on the outside of the box may have been hijacked in the production process (Culture, Hope, Get Big Fast , etc.). From a distance, the text on the boxes looks as if it was printed on the surface, but upon closer inspection, one can peek inside an empty box through the laser cut images. Through the transformed empty shipping boxes, Wallace raises questions about the invisible labor in the extensive systems behind rapid commodification and convenience. He also explores our growing reliance on storage and information containment, physical space and identity. Through shipping the boxes via USPS to direct locations, Wallace wanted to explore the process of shipping as the boxes were transformed by the markings they collected along their journey. Wallace is an artist of intervention - putting objects into the expansive production and distribution apparatus to see what happens - much like the way technology itself intervenes into our daily lives, at times creating glitches we have to deal with.
In BM-i1-11_2016 (2016), Wallace used open source code to convert a Raspberry Pi device into a video loop of assembled footage from distribution centers set to a compilation of sounds of electrical devices and beats. The video exposes the invisible processes in the apparatus we don’t see as consumers and frames the Raspberry Pi device itself as a commodity. In creating the piece, Wallace overwrote the operating system of the device so that it has a glitch - it can only loop videos. The piece is "always on" in the same way the apparatus is always moving. In another video, Wallace shows us slowed down footage of a motorcycle crash overlapped with a swimmer; he raises questions about the artist's role, risk and spectacle involved in cultural production.
Image rights: © Brett Wallace, courtesy ART 3 gallery, Brooklyn NY
2016 BRETT WALLACE, IF THIS, THEN WHAT, ART 3 gallery, Brooklyn NY
ART 3 gallery, BrooklynY
About Brett Wallace
American, b. 1977, Boston, MA, United States, based in New York, NY, United States