Telematic Media Arts presents
Virtues and Vices
As a further elaboration of her wwwunderkammer project, in Virtues and Vices, New York artist Carla Gannis presents a pantheon of avatars, embodying paradigms of digital culture and her own personality, now given voices by artificial intelligence.
Gannis’ wwwunderkammer appeals to the 16th-Century cabinet of curiosities to mine the complication of grounded and virtual reality, nature and artifice, science and science-fiction in digital culture and society. She sees the Internet itself as an archive of wondrous phenomena, caught somewhere between fantasy, reality, popular culture, and technology. She explores these complications as evidence of an underdetermination in their being, ripe with potential for creative intervention; and she constructs virtual worlds of her own based on de-colonizing, post-humanist, and feminist archives.
In Virtues and Vices, Gannis focuses specifically on the digital deconstruction of identity, foregrounding the eclectic pantheon of personalities that she has developed, over the years, as an integral part of her investigation into the breakdown between the virtual and the actual. The work is performative, enacting the diversity of identities that we assume on the Internet and elsewhere, both as expressions of who we are and as the alien effects of digital media, which nevertheless shape our sense of ourselves and our relationships with others. At the same time, these figures present defining features of digital culture itself, which Gannis highlights, explores, and develops to her own ends. And, for the first time in this show, Gannis gives her avatars new voices with the Artificial Intelligence, ChatGP, further pressing the question of where she ends and they begin.
The show will be accompanied by the publication of two books: One, wwwunderkammer, documents Gannis’ project; while the other, The Archive to Come, documents an exhibition of short time-based works by more than 50 international artists that she (along with Clark Buckner) curated in Fall 2020, as part of her project, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests. Both books will be featured in the gallery’s bookstore, and the works from The Archive to Come will be reprised in a single-channel screening as part of Virtues and Vices.