In Hito Steyerl’s timely essay, “In Defense of the Poor Image” she writes:
The poor image is no longer about the real thing—the originary original. Instead, it is about its own real conditions of existence: about swarm circulation, digital dispersion, fractured and flexible temporalities. It is about defiance and appropriation just as it is about conformism and exploitation. In short: it is about reality.
The title, Event Horizon, refers to the point of no return, no looking back, a precipice, the threshold between space and non-space. The artists exhibited manifest these ideas both objectively and subjectively, using the concept of “landscape” as a subject or a place of action, theoretically or literally. Each artist is distinct in his/her use of media and strategies of representation, but all are concerned with the edge between the screen and reality, as a place of manipulation and interpretation.
By confusing the relationships between the hand and digital and physical space, Leah Beeferman’s works invent intricate in-between spaces which mirror the theoretical ideas of abstract physics. These works contribute to a larger, ongoing study of digital drawing loosely inspired by a theory in quantum physics which states that pure empty space is not empty and is, in fact, quite dense. As Beeferman integrates digital drawing practices with photographic material, laser-etching, or software such as After Effects, the work avoids true physicality. It remains primarily digital; residing between file and viewer experience, it mirrors the interpretation and subsequent imagining of scientific theory.
Jerstin Crosby’s work embodies a unique sense of otherworldliness derived from a combination of experimental animation techniques. The simple and hypnotic scenes are crafted from original footage, 3D models, and drawing. His approach to creating these process-laden videos balances the medium against the heavily coded content which it abstracts. The work, often dark and mysterious, engages an awareness, or anxiety perhaps, about our understanding of the “real” and “natural” world.
Steve Gurysh explores wild economies of objects, events, and digital artifacts to create new forms of alterity through physical and time-based media. While his process employs methods of research, interpolating the histories of material science, cinema, digital imaging and fabrication, illogical premises often drive his work towards inventive scenarios. Here, storytelling becomes active through a productive process, weaving mythological frameworks, historical narrative, and invented experience into potent objects and public interventions.
Travelling to remote landscapes and taking geological/astronomical events as found footage of the world, artist Elizabeth McTernan uses actions (or “non-vicarious encounters”), installation, drawing, lithography, sound, and storytelling to construct spaces that are both literal and literary. She creates a narrative structure for the reconsideration of perception, setting the curved horizon of landscape into tension with the square horizons of screens, speakers, documents, and images. Her art works navigate representational and conceptual rifts in the Earthling day-to-day, via direct bodily gesture in the liminal passage.
About the curator:
Jessica Langley (b. 1981, USA) is a multimedia artist based in NYC whose work considers place, landscape, and the sublime through the vernacular as well as popular iconography. She has exhibited her work internationally, and has been an artist-in-residence in numerous programs including Skaftfell Center of Visual Art in Iceland, Askeaton Contemporary Art in Ireland, the SPACES World Artist Program in Cleveland, and the Digital Painting Atelier at OCAD-U in Toronto. She was a recipient of the J. William Fulbright Scholarship for research in Iceland, and earned her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008. She the founding director of the Stephen and George Laundry Line, a site for public art in Ridgewood, Queens.