The work in this series looks to aesthetic tropes from internet subcultures and music genres like Vaporwave for inspiration and functions in the kindred spirit of and often in contradiction to The New Aesthetic. Similarly to ‘Post–Internet’, The New Aesthetic (an ideology coined by James Bridle) is a way of thinking through modern networked culture and the internet of things we experience and interact with every day. This could be anything from ordering something from Amazon, to turning off your oven from your workplace vire your smartphone. The New Aesthetic attempts to turn the virtual, the invisible, the big data and the network into something palatable, thinkable and comprehensible. It critiques the ‘network’ that increasing numbers of humans in the developed world are part of in the vernacular of networked technology itself. It is a shareable concept just as much as a theory object, and perhaps already, an art movement too. The glistening, nostalgia saturated pop-art ripe within Vaporwave, Net-Art, pop, advertising and memes alike is the fuel and framework for the Detritus series.
Spatially, the environment presented is neither perspectival/linear or Vertical. It is also not quite a tangible space every time. With mapping software like Google Maps or with VR for example, we can be anywhere else we desire whilst simultaneously remaining in our present location. We can be above the world looking down, or in another simulated reality looking out. Hito Steryl’s notions of ‘Free fall’ and seeing in the present as a juxtaposition of linear and vertical perspective can be applied to the variety of viewpoints offered to the viewer in these pieces. With some preliminary images for the paintings Inspired by a use of the flatbed scanner with its vertical gaze and horizontal picture plane, or the anxious movements of light in fibre optic cables, the transparent fluidity of networked technologies is frozen in time and when the final images are created in paint, the work is made to appear tactile and physical. This inevitably becomes the antithesis of the invisible flux space discussed by Bridle and Steryl.
This is the point where the celebrated contradiction in my practise arises. Although much of the preliminary processes in my practise begin digital, the majority of the works function as paintings ultimately; aiming to draw attention to the increasing slippage between virtual and physical with a stress on holding on to the physical before it is lost. Unlike the New Aesthetic’s vision as a critique exclusively portrayed using new media, my practise aims to portray painting as a tool that is as relevant and helpful for thinking through life today as it has been used throughout history. Throwing the bureaucracy of an art object existing in a traditional gallery model aside for a moment, the language of, and act of pushing paint resides firmly as a kind of raw human behaviour. This activity is something I utilise on a personal level to balance the subsuming of the mind into ever automated modes of existence and activity.