Electric Ice is a screening series that traces Frankensteinian themes in film history and contemporary video and animation. From monstrous avatars struggling to thrive in, or escape from, virtual worlds to animal-headed humans narrating a drowned city, the screening presents a forecast by turns satirical, dreamy and dystopian. Works by Marina Zurkow, Claudia Hart, Eva Davidova, Takashi Murata, Carla Gannis, Erika Lynn Hanson and Hilary Harp and Suzie Silver explore the parables that haunt modernity’s ongoing encounter with the seductions of technology. An outdoor screening will take place on the lawn next to University Club and an indoor series will screen inside the building in the Sky Room.
Bios of each artist below (alphabetical by first name):
Carla Gannis is an artist fascinated by digital semiotics and the situation of identity in the blurring contexts of real and virtual. Brought up in North Carolina, Gannis currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. She studied painting at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro before receiving an MFA from Boston University. She is faculty and the assistant chairperson of The Department of Digital Arts at Pratt Institute.
Upon her arrival to New York in the late 1990s, Gannis began incorporating digital elements into her painting-based practice. Since then she has eclectically explored the domains of “Internet Gothic” cutting and pasting from the threads of networked communication, googleable art history, and speculative fiction to produce dark and often humorous explorations of the human condition. Her practice of collage and remix illuminates the potentialities of democratization and alienation in technology. In her work, she invites viewers to experience inescapably mediated contemporary life “through a digital looking glass” where reflections on power, sexuality, marginalization, and agency, emerge.
Since 2003, Gannis’s work has appeared in numerous solo and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally. Her most recent solo exhibitions include “A Subject Self-Defined“ at TRANSFER Gallery, New York, 2016; and “The Garden of Emoji Delights” at Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT 2015. Her work has been featured in press and publications including, ARTnews, The Creators Project, Wired, FastCo, Hyperallergic, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The LA Times, amongst others. She has participated on numerous panels regarding intersections in art and technology including “Let’s Get Digital,” Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 2014. Her speculative fiction was included in DEVOURING THE GREEN:: fear of a human planet: a cyborg / eco poetry anthology, published by Jaded Ibis Press 2015. Her augmented reality artist book The Selfie Drawings was awarded the Founder’s Award from the 2016 Lumen Prize.
Claudia Hart has been active as an artist, curator and critic since 1988. She works with digital trompe l’oeil as a medium, directing theater and making media objects of all kinds. These include multi-channel 3D animation installations, sculptures using industrial production techniques such as Rapid Prototyping, CNC routing, and virtual and mixed reality environments, and augmented-reality custom apps.
Hart’s works deal with issues of representation, and the role of the computer in shifting contemporary values about identity and what might be called the natural. Her project is to de-masculinze the culture of corporate technology by inserting the irrational and the personal into the slick, overly-determined Cartesian world of digital design. She is widely exhibited and collected by galleries and museums including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum, the New Museum, Eyebeam Center for Art + Technology, where she was an honorary fellow in 2013-14. She works with Transfer gallery in New York. She is married to the Austrian media artist Kurt Hentschlager, and lives in Chicago where she is a tenured professor at the School of the Art Institute.
Erika Lynne Hanson is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher, and educator whose work is rooted in textile practices. Currently Assistant Professor of Fibers/Socially Engaged Practices at Arizona State University, Hanson received her MFA from California College of the Arts in 2010. Her work is exhibited nationally and internationally. Most recently, her projects have been exhibited at Field Projects Gallery in New York, The Alice in Seattle, and Tucson Museum of Art. Additionally, Hanson has participated in residency programs such as The Icelandic Textile Center in Blonduos, IS, and The Wrangell Mountain Center in McCarthy, AK that support the ongoing dialogue regarding landscape within her practice.
Eva Davidova is a Spanish/Bulgarian multidisciplinary artist based in New York.
Her work has been shown at the Bronx Museum in New York, the Everson Museum in Syracuse; Albright Knox Museum in Buffalo; MACBA, Barcelona, CAAC Sevilla; Instituto Cervantes, Sofia; and Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid. She is recipient of the BANCAJA International Award for Digital Art; the M-tel Award for Contemporary Bulgarian Art; and the Djerassi Honorary Fellowship. Her recent institutional solo exhibitions were at The Contemporary Arts Center La Regenta in Tenerife, and the Urban Video Project at The Everson Museum Facade, Syracuse, NY.
Eva Davidova was educated at Kliment Ohridsky University, Sofia, Bulgaria, and the Complutense University in Madrid, Spain. Since 2004 she lives and works in New York.
Katie Torn has exhibited her work at national and international locations including XPO Gallery, Paris (2015); Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2015); Art in General, New York (2015); Postmasters, New York (2014); Upfor Gallery, Portland (2014); MOMA PS1, New York (2014); Roots & Cultures Contemporary Art Center, Chicago (2013); MOCA, Los Angeles (2013); and Bitforms Gallery, New York (2013). She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2012) and BA from Hunter College (2007). Torn was a 2013 Fellow at the Eyebeam Art & Technology Center, and most recently a resident of LMCC Process Space on Governors Island.
Hilary Harp and Suzie Silver.
Trained in sculpture at Parsons School of Design (BFA), Tyler School of Art (MFA), and at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Hilary Harp creates sculptures, installations and media projects which explore new hybrid forms, and challenge categories, particularly categories of high and low, male and female, technology and craft. Since 2003 she has collaborated with Suzie Silver on a range of projects. Their videos have screened at over one hundred festivals on four continents and are distributed by the Video Data Bank. Harp’s awards include a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, a Heinz Creative Heights Grant, and an Arizona Commission on the Arts Project Grant. Her ongoing project with Suzie Silver, “Fairy Fantastic!” a web-based queer fairy and folk tale video series for gender non-conforming kids of all ages, has recently screened at festivals in Belarus, Portugal, Romania and Australia. Harp is Associate Professor of Sculpture at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.
Suzie Silver has been creating queer performance and video art for over two decades. A true tomboy and thrill-seeker from day one, her youth was spent dirt-biking through canyons, going to punk shows and dancing in the gay/lesbian bars of Tijuana and San Diego. Her well-known early videos, Freebird and A Spy emerged from her involvement with the cabaret performance art scene in Chicago in the late 80’s and early 90s. Her later videos use digital manipulation to meld together appropriated images and music, recorded performance and animated sequences into irreverent celebrations of exoticism, ecstasy and camp. Silver has often worked closely with other artists, as a presenter, collaborator, and teacher, including ongoing collaborations with Hilary Harp and Eric Moe. Her work has exhibited and screened widely nationally and internationally at venues including: The Whitney Museum of Art, The New Museum, Documenta, ICA Boston, ICA London, Pacific Film Archives, Anthology Film Archives, London Film Festival, Seoul Film Festival, and Gay and Lesbian Film/Video Festivals all over the world including Melbourne, London, Tel Aviv, San Francisco, Chicago, NYC, Sao Paulo, Auckland and many more. Her work was included in the “Histories of Sexuality” exhibition at the New Museum in New York City in 2015.
Marina Zurkow is a media artist focused on near-impossible nature and culture intersections, researching “wicked problems” like invasive species, superfund sites, and petroleum interdependence. She has used life science, bio materials, animation, dinners and software technologies to foster intimate connections between people and non-human agents.Her work spans gallery installations and unconventional public participatory projects. Currently, she is working on connecting toxic urban waterways to oceans, and researching the tensions between maritime ecology and the ocean’s primary human use as a capitalist Pangea.
Recent solo shows include Chronus Art Center, Shanghai, bitforms gallery, NY, Montclair Museum of Art, and Diverseworks, Houston, and exhibitions at Sundance New Frontiers, FACT, Liverpool, SF MoMA, Walker Art Center; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Wave Hill, NY, and the National Museum for Women in the Arts. She has collaborated with Social Science and Humanities scholars at Rice University, New York University, and the University of Minnesota. Zurkow is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, and received grants from NYFA, NYSCA, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Creative Capital. She is a full time faculty member at ITP / Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and is represented by bitforms gallery.
Takeshi Murata produces extraordinary digital works that refigure the experience of animation. His innovative practice and constantly evolving processes range from intricate computer-aided, hand-drawn animations to exacting manipulations of the flaws, defects and broken code in digital video technology. Whether altering appropriated footage from cinema (B movies, vintage horror films), or creating Rorschach-like fields of seething color, form and motion, Murata produces astonishing visions that redefine the boundaries between abstraction and recognition.
Murata has developed painterly techniques for processing video using glitches and errors. Conjuring digital turbulence from broken DVD encoding, he carefully tends bad video compression to generate sometimes sinuous, sometimes violent flows of digital distortion. With a powerfully sensual force that is expressed in videos, loops, installations and electronic music, Murata’s synaesthetic experiments in hypnotic perception appear at once seductively organic and totally digital.
Takeshi Murata was born in 1974 in Chicago, IL. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1997 with a B.F.A. in Film/Video/Animation. Murata has exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, California; Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Peres Projects, Los Angeles; Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York; Eyebeam, New York; FACT Centre, Liverpool, UK; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; New York Underground Film Festival; Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, Foxy Production, New York, and Deitch Projects, New York, among others.
In 2007 he had a solo exhibition, Black Box: Takeshi Murata, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. Other recent solo exhibitions were held at Vox Populi Gallery, Philadelphia, and Ratio 3, San Francisco.