Ever Gold [Projects] is pleased to present The Internet Archive’s 2019 Artist in Residence Exhibition, an exhibition organized in collaboration with the Internet Archive as the culmination of the third year of the Internet Archive’s visual arts residency program. This year’s exhibition features work by artists Caleb Duarte, Whitney Lynn, and Jeffrey Alan Scudder.
The Internet Archive is a San Francisco based nonprofit digital library providing researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public access to over 15 petabytes of collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and nearly three million public-domain books, as well as the Wayback Machine archive (an archive of almost 300 billion websites preserved over time). The Internet Archive visual arts residency is organized by Amir Saber Esfahani, and is designed to connect emerging and mid-career artists with the archive’s collections and to show what is possible when open access to information meets the arts. The residency is one year in length during which time each artist will develop a body of work that utilizes the resources of the archive’s collections in their own practice.
Building on the Internet Archive’s mission to preserve artifacts of culture and heritage, artist Caleb Duarte’s project is concerned with recording oral histories and preserving related objects. Duarte’s work is intentionally situated within networks peripheral to the mainstream art world in order to establish an intimate relationship within the greater public. His work is produced through situational engagement with active sites of social and cultural resistance and strives to extend the expressions of marginalized communities through a shared authorship. During his residency at the Internet Archive, Duarte visited communities in temporary refugee camps that house thousands of displaced immigrants in Tijuana, Mexico. By recording oral histories and producing sculptural objects, participants exercised their ability to preserve their own histories, centered around the idea of home as memory, and the objects that represent such a place. Using the Internet Archive, Duarte was able to preserve such stories of endurance and migration that otherwise would be subject to the ongoing processes of erasure. The preservation of these memories required transferring the objects and oral histories to a digital format, some of which are carefully and thoughtfully curated into the Internet Archive’s collections for the public to access. For the exhibition at Ever Gold [Projects], Caleb has created an architectural installation representing ideas of “human progress” using the same materials from Home Depot that construct our suburban homes: white walls, exposed wooden frames, and gated fences. These materials and the aesthetics of their construction is a direct visual link to the incarceration of immigrant children. This installation is juxtaposed with raw drawings on drywall and video documentation of sculptural performances and interviews created at the temporary refugee camps in Tijuana.
Artist Whitney Lynn’s project builds on previous work in which Lynn questions representations of the archetypal temptress or femme fatale. This kind of character is the personification of a trap, an idea that is of multifaceted interest to Lynn. Many of her recent projects are influenced by the potential of an object designed to confuse or mislead. For her residency at the Internet Archive, Lynn has turned her attention to the ultimate femme fatale—the mythological siren. Taking advantage of the Archive’s catalog of materials, Lynn tracks the nature of the siren’s depiction over time. From their literary appearance in Homer’s Odyssey (where they are never physically described), to ancient Greek bird-creatures (occasionally bearded and often featured on funerary objects), to their current conflation with mermaids, sirens have been a site for much projection. Around the turn of the century, topless mermaids begin to appear in Odyssey-related academic paintings, but in the Odyssey not only are the Sirens never physically described, but their lure is knowledge—they sing of the pain of war, claim that they know everything on earth, and say that whoever listens can “go on their way with greater knowledge.” In the story, Odysseus’s men escape temptation and death because they stuff their ears with wax and remain blissfully ignorant, while Odysseus survives through bondage. The Internet Archive’s mission statement is to provide “universal access to all knowledge” and the myth of the siren is both a story about forbidden knowledge, and an example of how images can reflect and reinforce systems of power. Lynn’s investigation of the siren brings up related questions about the lines between innocence and ignorance, and the intersections of knowledge, power, and privilege.
Programmer and digital painter Jeffrey Alan Scudder’s project centers around Kid Pix, an award-winning and influential painting app designed for children released in 1989 by Craig Hickman. The user interface of Kid Pix was revolutionary—it was designed to be intuitive (violating certain Apple guidelines to reduce dialog boxes and other unwieldy mechanics), offered unusual options for brushes and tools, and had a sense of style and humor that would prove hard to beat for competitor products. The original binaries of Kid Pix and related digital ephemera are in the collections of the Internet Archive. As part of his practice, Scudder writes his own digital drawing and painting software, and has always wanted to meet Hickman. As part of his residency with the Internet Archive, he visited Hickman at his home in Oregon. In a video directed by Matthew Doyle, Scudder and Hickman discuss software, art, and creativity. Hickman donated his collection of Kid Pix-related artifacts and ephemera to the Computer History Museum, and the exhibition will include a display of these materials alongside Scudder’s work. In addition to the video work and the selection of artifacts on view, Scudder will present a whiteboard drawing/diagram about his work with the Internet Archive.
On July 20 at 5 pm, Jeffrey Alan Scudder will produce a new iteration of Radical Digital Painting, an ongoing performance project which often includes other artists. Radical Digital Painting is named after Radical Computer Music, a project by Danish artist Goodiepal, who Scudder has been touring with in Europe over the last two years. In 2018 alone, Scudder gave over 45 lecture performances on digital painting and related topics in the United States and Europe.
Caleb Duarte (b. 1977, El Paso, Texas) lives and works in Fresno. Duarte is best known for creating temporary installations using construction type frameworks such as beds of dirt, cement, and objects suggesting basic shelter. His installations within institutional settings become sights for performance as interpretations of his community collaborations. Recent exhibitions include Bay Area Now 8 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco, 2018); Emory Douglas: Bold Visual Language at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (2018); A Decolonial Atlas: Strategies in Contemporary Art of the Americas at Vincent Price Art Museum (Monterey Park, CA, 2017); Zapantera Negra at Fresno State University (Fresno, CA, 2016); and COUNTERPUBLIC at the Luminary (St. Louis, MO, 2015).
Whitney Lynn (b. 1980, Williams Air Force Base) lives and works between San Francisco and Seattle. Lynn employs expanded forms of sculpture, performance, photography, and drawing in her project-based work. Mining cultural and political histories, she reframes familiar narratives to question dynamics of power. Lynn’s work has been included in exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Torrance Art Museum; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco); RedLine Contemporary Art Center (Denver); and Exit Art (New York). She has completed project residencies at the de Young Museum (San Francisco, 2017) and The Neon Museum (Las Vegas, 2016). She has created site-responsive public art for the San Diego International Airport, the San Francisco War Memorial Building, and the City of Reno City Hall Lobby. Lynn has taught at Stanford University, the San Francisco Art Institute, and UC Berkeley, and is currently an Assistant Professor in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts at the University of Washington.
Jeffrey Alan Scudder (b. 1989, Assonet, Massachusetts) lives and works between Maine and Massachusetts. Scudder spends his time programming and making pictures. He attended Ringling College of Art & Design (BFA, 2011) and Yale School of Art (MFA, 2013). He has taught at UCLA and Parsons School for Design at The New School, and worked at the design studio Linked by Air. Recent exhibitions include drawings at 650mAh0 (Hove, 2018); INTENTIONS BASED ON A FUTURE WHICH HAS ALREADY HAPPENED at Naming Gallery (Oakland, CA, 2018); Radical Digital Painting at Johannes Vogt Gallery (New York, 2018); Imaginary Screenshots at Whitcher Projects (Los Angeles, 2017); drawinghomework.net Presents at February Gallery (Austin, 2017); New Dawn at Neumeister Bar-Am (Berlin, 2017); and VIDEO MIXER at Yale School of Art (New Haven, 2015). In 2018 alone, Scudder gave over 45 lecture-performances on digital painting and related topics in the United States and Europe. Selected recent lecture-performance venues include Weber State University (Odgen, Utah, 2019); 650mAh0 (Hove, 2018); Chaos Communication Congress (Leipzig, 2018); the ZKM Museum (Karlsruhe, Germany, 2018); Estonian Academy of Arts (Tallinn, Estonia, 2018), Bauhaus University (Weimar, Germany, 2018); and Yale School of Art (New Haven, 2018).