Studio Super

Promises, Promises

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Hyped to finally be sharing this piece I completed for Typeforce X back in February!

This beast, which now sits at the entrance to our studio, is a 4x4 CRT video wall comprised of 28" Hantarex wall monitors (mfd. circa 1990), installed inside a postmodern case that I designed and a mega talented friend fabricated. To the left is the matching control console, made in the same style. The monitors display a three minute looping animation of ten hand lettered dead/dying mall ad slogans within ten scenes, each rendered in a 16-bit game aesthetic. The smaller Sony PVM loops the artist's statement.

All told - between restoring the grievously mistreated electronics, to constructing the frame, to animating art for it - the whole thing took about a year to create. Despite the massive effort though, I have honestly never been so creatively satisfied by a single piece before :)

+ Stay tuned -- I'll be sharing individual animation selects over the next few weeks...

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The artist's statement if ya nasty:

Promises, Promises explores the intersection of time, ephemera, and consumerism as ritual.

Through a series of outmoded 16-bit-style typographic tableaus, advertising slogans for dead and dying malls are (re)animated one after another. In this endless loop, the manufactured urgency and promise of these mantra-like slogans, advertising places that no longer exist, become naked. They are secular relics without reliquaries, outside of time and place.

The animations are displayed on a grid of restored CRT video wall monitors, which were commonly used in arcades, nightclubs, and retail spaces in the heyday of the mall. In its colorful, postmodern casing, the whole apparatus is a lost consumer object, speaking a dead language to no one in particular.

What do we do with the commercial when it exists in a liminal cultural space outside of commerce, but also outside the sacred or historical? What do these spaces represent, if anything, once they are gone, and who are we, the youth who came of age there, if they shaped us just as much as any school, place of worship, or other institution?

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