OUR (PAST) ISSUES
KATHRYN BARULICH & JACKIE VALLE
The fore-word to Issue 4 examines the unlikely strategies inherent to the screen. While it is easy to think about the digital screen as a proxy or a frame, this issue proposes otherwise.
Currently, we use screen technology to interface with a variety of media. Enthralled by the capabilities of our devices to effortlessly reproduce, display, and create visual imagery, this essay explores the screen as a critical site of perceptual production. By examining the rhetoric and strategies of commercial advertisements for screen technologies, an emphasis is placed on the screen as a visual frame, a physical object, and a phenomenological site in order to propose how visual technologies have affected notions of visuality.
We are participating in a digital seance. The screen you are looking at to read this article is your medium, connecting you to the streaming afterlife of the writer’s thoughts and memories.
Jyoti Arvey took analogue photos of Skype conversations she had with friends and family while teaching English in Novosibirsk, Russia. This photo series and the accompanying texts defamiliarize the screen as a meeting place, exploring the intersections between digital surveillance, the archive, and notions of collectivity versus individuality.
JUAN PABLO PACHECO
The works of these four contemporary Colombian artists stem from a reflection of the liminal, material, and visual codes through which the screen produces the images that give us access to knowledge, time, and space. In the so-called post-internet/information/digital era, these discussions aim to understand the possibilities of interrupting/materializing/demystifying/enjoying the stillness of the world through the screen.
Jonathon Hornedo reviews the National Gallery of San Francisco’s exhibition, Petra Kujau: The Paintings, the first solo exhibition in the USA of the pioneering German artist Petra Kujau, great granddaughter of the extraordinary painter Konrad Kujau.
CHRISTOPHER SQUIER and JULIAN WONG-NELSON
For the current issue of DISSOLVE we examine the theme of haptics—or touch—as it relates to specific sites, spaces, works, and their tangents.
In this essay, Combs speculates on the broader haptic connections between sites of repetitive touch such as the St. Peter’s statue in the Vatican, a stair banister smoothed from use, and her artistic project of polishing rusty industrial remains. How does cleaning or polishing reveal norms of entitlement, sociality, or possession?
ZULFIKAR ALI BHUTTO
Thank you for clicking on the link to this visual and written piece. Let us now begin.
NA CHAINKUA REINDORF
Reindorf's immersive installation project, Reveal||Conceal, introduces a less familiar art of the West African masquerade and functions as a contemporary strategy to undermine the unobstructed male gaze, while attempting to redistribute power structures that surround body ownership and policing. This project combines themes of feminism, cultural exploration, the public/private and the mystification of the observed body.
What does it mean to engage the body’s avisual senses to tap into registers of knowledge missed by sight? How does smell, as a sense inherently complex, intimate, and uncontainable, work through a more tactile logic than sight?
JUAN PABLO PACHECO
Digital images and information make up a vast portion of the global economy in the 21st century based upon the exchange of seemingly intangible goods. The ability to touch the goods one consumes in these economies is displaced, establishing new spatial and temporal relations along the chain of production and dislocating the violence at the core of neoliberal societies. The power relations and material conditions that enable digital goods to circulate through our contemporary economies are obscured by an ideology of digital intangibility.
Often noted for their visual spectacles of sexual and violent excess, the films of Park Chan-wook present reoccurring themes manifested through the body. From his early work Sympathy for Mr Vengeance to his latest film The Handmaiden, haptic forms of communication offer a different perspective on themes of exploitation, the ferocious nature of capitalism, and muted desire.
"In my work, I tend to explore the potential of collage outside of the "cut and paste" limitations. I like to push the boundaries to see how much texture and layers I can fit into one piece without actually needing to glue anything down. This may involve weaving, cutting and intertwining and on occasion a little assistance from artist tape behind the scenes. As part of the nature of this process, I have worked in aspects of the collages that are non-static, that are intentionally free to move about the piece within the enclosed environment provided. This creates a new dimension where the collage work can take on a life of its own."
Object performance, touch as a cure, and irrational ritual: as we interact with the physical world, patterns occur. Household objects gain magical value and therapies are formed out of belief. Rituals develop around the way we interact with the people and objects around us.