The work of James Clar (b. 1979, USA) looks at the influence of media and technology on perceptions of culture, nationality, and identity. He uses new technologies and production processes to investigate and critique their effects on human behaviours, whether in terms of broad socio-political trends or more personal emotions. After studying film and animation at New York University, Clar moved away from screen-based practices at graduate school, and began to work with artificial light, creating sculptural lighting pieces. By developing his own systems with which to manipulate light, he started to create unique visual displays, as well as circumvent the limitations of screen-based work. In effect, these light works became a physical extension of the pixel beyond the screen, pixels that created three-dimensional sculptural form. Clar has previously undertaken commissions for Parasol Unit, London, UK; Fraport Headquarters, Frankfurt, Germany; Rolex Tower, Dubai; Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST), University of Tsukuba Tokyo and FedEx Institute of Technology / Lantana Projects, Memphis. He lives and works in New York.
For the past twenty-five years, Michael Joaquin Grey (b. 1961, USA) has been investigating the development of life, language and form in complex and natural systems; how animate and inanimate systems originate, grow and decay. Working primarily as a sculptor, but also using a broad range of other media, Grey's art seeks to materialise critical moments in natural phenomena and culture. His work explores the prepositional or intermediate states of change in behaviour, matter, meaning and the pattern of their consequences. In doing this, Grey reminds us of the fundamental importance, so often lost in contemporary society, of primary observation for learning. Grey's practice exists as a form of social sculpture that enables us to explore the origins of our development from the bottom up and the implications for how we create our pedagogy. Drawing inspiration from Modernism's lost roots in Fröbel's Kindergarten, he reaffirms that this method of common pedagogy is part of a process that catalyses both individual and cultural consciousness. He lives and works in New York.
Electronic artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (b.1967, Mexico) develops interactive installations that are at the intersection of architecture and performance art. His main interest is in creating platforms for public participation, by perverting technologies such as robotics, computerised surveillance or telematic networks. Most recently, he received critical acclaim for Level of Confidence, an installation conceived as an homage to the 43 students kidnapped in Iguana, Mexico, in September 2014. Lozano-Hemmer was the first artist to officially represent Mexico at the Venice Biennale in 2007. Recent solo exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. He has also shown at art biennials and triennials in Havana, Istanbul, Liverpool, Montreal, Moscow, New Orleans, Seville, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. His large-scale interactive installations have been commissioned for events such as the UN World Summit of Cities in Lyon (2003), the Expansion of the European Union in Dublin (2004), the memorial for the Tlatelolco Student Massacre in Mexico City (2008) and the 50th Anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum in New York (2009). He lives and works in Montreal.
John Wood (b.1969, Hong Kong) and Paul Harrison (b.1966, UK) make single-channel videos, multi-screen video installations, prints, drawings, and sculptures that elegantly fuse advanced aesthetic research with existential comedy. The artists’ spare, to-the-point works feature the actions of their own bodies, a wide variety of static and moving props, or combinations of both to illustrate the triumphs and tribulations of making art and having a life. The videos maintain a strict internal logic, with the action directly related to the duration of the work. Inside this 'logical world' action is allowed to happen for no apparent reason, tensions build between the environment and its inhabitant, play is encouraged and the influences on the work are intentionally mixed. In their not-always- successful experiments with movement and materials, many of which critic Tom Lubbock has described as “sculptural pratfalls”, Wood and Harrison employ exuberant invention, subtle slapstick, and a touch of light-hearted melancholy to reveal the inspiration and perspiration — as well as the occasional hint of desperation — behind all creative acts. John Wood and Paul Harrison met in 1989 at the Bath College of Higher Education, and have worked together since 1993. They live and work in Bristol.