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Patrick Holbrook

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Patrick Holbrook lives and works in Chicago. His work examines the spaces and movements of commodities and people, the intersections of power structures, ideological expression in engineered and cultural forms, cultural memory, and speculative possibilities of alternative ways of living. Based in video and digital media, but including other materials and objects, it has been shown at spaces such as The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Antena in Chicago, and in solo exhibitions at Eyedrum and the Saltworks Gallery Project Room in Atlanta, A\V Space in Rochester NY, and Washington State University Tri-Cities. He is an Adjunct Professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College, was a visiting artist at Rhode Island School of Design, Scripps College, and The University of Memphis, and was an Assistant Professor at the Georgia College & State University Art Department from 2002 to 2007, where he started the digital media area. He also curates exhibitions at Eel Space. He grew up in New Hampshire and received an M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, a B.A. from Hampshire College, and plays music with The Wood Knots.

Patrick Holbrook

A Record of Consumption
HDV, 2 Minutes and 23 seconds


HD DVD (2 minutes), 2008.


HDV, 2 Minutes 40 Seconds, 2008.



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January 22, 2010 at 9:55 am

Shane Mecklenburger

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Shane Mecklenburger

Artist statement

My work investigates post-industrial culture through the common uses and origins of modeling, gaming and information technologies. In my projects 3D models represent a quixotic attempt to make sense of things. To me games draw attention to the rules we (un)knowingly agree upon from one situation to another. I also use games and models for their association with childhood, which I see as an endless condition.

Lately I’ve become interested in shooter games and how they construct and conflate entertainment, childhood, war and masculinity. The video “Halcyon Atmosphere” and the sculpture it generated, “Semi-Automatic”, both use the sublime transformation of fearsome or horrific subjects into objects of contemplation and beauty, approximating of the kind of sublime experience of becoming immersed in a shooter game.

In shooter games, the gun quickly replaces the body as the primary site of agency, status and control. So in “Friendly Fire” we stripped a shooter game of all its other elements, including gravity. Only guns are left, floating in an infinitely empty expanse. “Friendly Fire” explores basic questions of personal agency within a set of rules and a field of “play” that appear to be familiar, but are in fact all inverted. The more the player shoots, the more guns appear and the less control the player has.

This sort of inversion is similarly illustrated in “on_The Ball”. A cue ball, which, like the shooter’s gun, is another presumptive “actor” or site of agency and control, has been fixed to the center of the video image. The table bounces around the ball, an inversion which calls attention to the limits of the playing field. The table becomes a metaphor for the unspoken rules we agree upon from game to game, from moment to moment. Who has more agency, the player or the agreed-upon boundaries of the game?

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January 22, 2010 at 9:46 am

Alberto Aguilar

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As a teenager I would look at past pictures of my childhood and family and start to cry. While in art school I was fascinated in work created by artists in their old age or near death. As a young adult I have moved away from working in isolation within a studio setting and using a specialized medium.

My work is autobiographical with a universal end. We all live, we are all moved, we all die. Through it I capture moments of inspiration that occur at any given time, under any given circumstances. I strive to retain a sense of youthfulness and play in my work, in an effort to slow down my own fleeing youth.

There is an amateur quality that may pervade the work I create using technology that I prefer to view as a human touch. I use digital media to document and record ideas, discoveries and acts in the making, realizing and passing. My work is highly intuitive and although I use chance as a guiding force I believe that it is purposely guided. I put together elements with no apparent relationship and then create meaning through their proximity. It is made directly and clearly without hesitation or questioning its validity as my work.

Through my collaboration with others the art making process becomes a communal endeavor and in turn makes it more meaningful for me. Rather than thinking of my family or students as obstacles for making art or spending time in the studio I incorporate them into my working process.
Although primarily working in sound, video and digital photography I welcome other mediums as well as research veins, which will take my work to new and unexpected terrains.








1) 68’Welch’Subway08’, 2008, 1:48
This piece is a recreation of two television commercials, one from 1968
and the other from 2008. I used my daughter for the main characters in
both recreations as well as the voice of my wife, a student and myself.
I chose the Welch’s commercial for its sentimental and psychological
edge while the Subway commercial was the only one that my daughter knew
by heart in watching Saturday morning cartoons.

2) Failing Memory or Intelligence, 2008, 5:44
In this piece I used excerpts from an article written in 1968 of what
life would be like in 2008. I juxtaposed these with interesting
lesser-known facts of 1968 and arranged them randomly in alternating

3) 12906088, 2008 2:38
In this piece I sang the words nineteen sixty eight to Otis Redding’s
Sitting at the Dock of the Bay because it was the only song of the top
ten of 68’ that I was able to match to tune. Afterwards I asked my
daughter, who is a drummer to fill in the gaps with the beat of her
choice using the words Two thousand and eight.

Check out Alberto Aguilar’s myspace page:

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January 21, 2010 at 10:52 am

Noelle Mason

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In my trans-disciplinary practice I conceptually employ electronics, video, sculpture, installation, painting, photography, and craft to investigate the subtle seductiveness of power facilitated by systems of visual control. I am primarily interested in the artificial means by which we extend our ability to see and the mediating object’s affect on the transmission of images to affirm social and political hierarchies.

Mise-en-Scene appropriates the language of the gallery, video games, scientific experiment, and surveillance to examine how mediation functions both to facilitate acts of violence and to uphold the assertion of boundaries between cultural and political institutions of power. In Mise-en-Scene the viewer is presented with a sealed 8-foot room. Inside the room a woman stands in darkness, surveilled by four closed circuit night vision cameras that feed her real-time infrared image to corresponding monitors imbedded in each of the room’s outer walls. Under each monitor is a large red video game button. When a viewer presses one of the buttons an electric shock is administered to one of the performer’s limbs causing her muscles to seize from the jolt until the button is released. Mise-en-Scene explores the effect of a “social relationship mediated by images” as the desire to see is transformed into a means of painful control over another’s body. The seductive quality of surveillance synthesized with gallery mores and interface transparency makes viewer, institution, and artist equal participants in the creation of the scene.

In LAN Party or “National Take Your Daughter to Work Day” I graft autobiographical narrative onto appropriated images, objects, and contexts in an attempt to negotiate the complexities of power, which reverberate between the interpersonal and institutional. The resulting installation, or local area network (LAN,) implicates the viewer in an act of violence and uses the gallery as a medium to examine the historical precedence that affirms the authority of viewership. In LAN Party a Remington M700 police sniper rifle is poised atop a domestic looking table. A stool and headphone set invite the viewer to position herself behind the rifle, aimed at a small ornately framed monitor across the room. The monitor which, can only be seen and heard when standing in close proximity, shows found footage taken through the lens of an American helicopter sniper as he targets and kills Iraqis on the ground. The video is accompanied by a telephone recording of my father’s voice coolly describing the formal qualities of his own experience with the Remington M700 (weight, material, kickback.) Outfitted with headphones and enabled by the magnifying powers of the rifle’s scope, the viewer across the room receives the sniper footage in concert with the original soundtrack—the voices of gunmen and the booming sound of shots being fired.

Currently my work is informed by the unique socio-political climate of the Southern California border with Mexico and the imaging technologies used to uphold it. Ground Control is a wool Gobelin rug made in Guadalajara, Mexico by José Antonio Flores and Jonathan Samaniego in exchange for the amount of money it would cost a family of four to illegally immigrate to the United States. Ground Control reconstructs an image of the US/Mexico border at Mexicali/Calexico taken by the Terra satellite’s Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER.) ASTER is made possible by collateral exertions of energy, economy, research and labor between NASA, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) and Japan’s Earth Remote Sensing Data Analysis Center (ERSDAC). Ground Control is an exercise in free monetary/commodity exchange across the U.S./Mexico border in contradistinction to the growing restrictions on human migration. The trans-national means of image collection and production of the work displaces the distinctions of national margins the ASTER photograph depicts, while the electromagnetic abstraction of the border obscures the image’s coded political content.

Check out more on Noelle Mason:

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January 21, 2010 at 10:45 am

Patrick Lichty

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For a long time, I have been fascinated with “obsolete spaces”, or places that have fallen into disuse or been destroyed for the same reason. This includes the Hulett Ore Loaders near Cleveland, the Adak Naval base in Alaska, and now the recently dismantled Berwyn Spire. These represent the loss of certain parts of American identity in a society that is obsessed with the “new”.

For thsi series, I documented the piece in the last year of its existence, and also made an interpretation of it in the 3D online world, Second Life. I did this as I feel that the Spire only exists in memory and our cultural databanks now, and I felt that by having a virtual version to contrast with the actual one was a fitting tribute to this iconic piece of Americana.

Patrick Lichty (b. 1962, Akron, Ohio) was born into a family with a long involvement in and support of the arts. His mother, a exhibiting artist of numerous art and craft media, immersed him in textiles, painting, ceramics, print and other techniques during his upbringing. Simultaneously he was also exposed to technology in the form of the emerging genres of electronics, video games, and later personal computing when his parents bought him an Atari 800 computer in 1978. Instead of following the desires of many adolescents of the late 70’s in wanting to program the next Pac-Man or Space Invaders, he was interested in drawing and creating music with his personal computer.

Upon graduation from high school, family convinced him that computers and electronics was a field with great potential. Lichty then followed this advice to complete two degrees in electronic engineering at the University of Akron (Ohio, US), but also followed studies in Art and Asian Studies. In addition, free time was devoted to continuing interests in design, painting and digital imaging.

In 1990, while studying postgraduate Glass and Art History at Kent State University, Lichty met theatre historian Leigh Clemons and Sociologist Jonathon Epstein. Clemons would later become Lichty’s scholarly collaborator (and spouse), and Epstein became partner in the media group, Haymarket Riot. During the first half of the 1990’s, Lichty and Epstein created a number of works on media and culture, including Americans Have No Identity, but they do have Wonderful Teeth, The Sociology of Jean Baudrillard, and Haymarket Riot’s MACHINE.

By the mid 1990’s, the World Wide Web burst upon American culture, and advances in personal media production allowed the individual to create media art available only to institutions. From this, early web artworks following his love of art and theory, such as (re)cursor and video like Haymarket Riot’s WEB were created, which caught the attention of corporate activists cum art group RTMark. From the mid 90’s to the early 00’s, the critical work started with Haymarket Riot continued in collaboration with RTMark in creating visuals and animation for exhibitions and video, culminating in 1999’s Bringing It to YOU!, which was featured in the 2000 Whitney Biennial.

Solo work continued as well, exploring the nature of narrative structure in online spaces. These include 1998’s Metaphor and Terrain, a ‘sculptural’ essay examining interface as art object, 1999’s Grasping @ Bits, another hyperessay looking at issues of art and intellectual property rights, and 2000 Smithsonian American Art Museum commission SPRAWL: The American Landscape in Transition. This last piece consisted of a hyperdocumentary consisting of over 190 minutes of interviews, various texts, and 32 panoramic vistas of areas in his home town of North Canton, Ohio that were in the midst of rapid change due to the housing boom of the late 90’s.

After 2000, Lichty’s artistic and scholarly practice would further expand from solo and collaborative works to include numerous curatorial projects, including (re)distributions: Mobile Device and PDA Art, columnist for ArtByte Magazine, and the assumption of the Executive Editor position at Intelligent Agent Magazine (NYC), in partnership with Whitney Museum of American Art digital arts curator, Christiane Paul. In addition, his service to the New Media community also expanded by becoming Chair of the Inter-Society of Electronic Art’s (ISEA’s) Cultural Diversity Committee, and Executive Curator of Microcinema International’s Mobile Exposure cellphone video festival.

In 2001, the RTMark visual collaborations would catch the attention of another activist group, The Yes Men. This group’s comical stunts, calling for humane treatment of global populations by organizations such as Dow Chemical, EXXON, the US Government, and the WTO, were featured internationally from ArtNews to the BBC. Lichty’s slapstick animations from bizarre management schemes to fast-food waste reclamation projects were core illustrative components of the group’s presentations, and featured in Bluemark’s documentary, The Yes Men, which showed at the Sundance, Berlin, and Sydney film festivals.

After over a decade in the New Media art world, a desire share his experience through teaching required that Lichty seek a terminal (MFA) degree. In 2004, he entered Bowling Green State University’s Digital Arts program under advisor Gregory Little. While planning to graduate in 2006, Lichty has served as Representative-at-Large for BGSU Graduate Student Senate, the BGSU Public Arts Committee, and is member of Phi Kappa Phi with a 4.0 GPA. He remains in his former duties, and is most recently featured in the exhibition, Dreaming of a More Better Future, at the Cleveland Institute of Art with Kevin and Jennifer McCoy and Vito Acconci.


Spire Reloaded, Video, 200

The Passion of Garth Algar, Video, 2008

Spire Sublimination, Video, 2008

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January 21, 2010 at 10:28 am

Lindsay Grace

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Lindsay Grace

About the Artist

Lindsay is a multitalented artist working in photography and electronic art.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science from Northwestern University.  He is also a candidate for the Masters of Fine Arts in Electronic Visualization at the University of Illinois, Chicago.  He is a professor of Interactive Media at the Illinois institute of Art, Chicago.

From the Artist: Photography
My photography celebrates the continuity of play and work in multicultural island communities. Many of my photographs are taken in West Africa, South Asia, Central America, and the Caribbean using 35mm film or digital photography. All of the photographs are displayed as they were originally taken from the moment; no subjects are posed, no alterations are made after the shutter closes.

As a Cape Verdean American artist, I am distinctly familiar with the affect of island living, whether it is the physical microcosm of land between sea, or the micro-social distance between socio-economics.

From the Artist: Digital Media
My digital art seeks to highlight specific aspects of the social relationship between human and machine. These relationships are like most relationships, wonderful but full of distinct challenges that require attention.  I address these challenges by exploiting the scale and processes that makes computer applications so powerful.

My years of experience programming and designing software systems combines with my innate appreciation of language and the visual to fabricate hybrid experiences of the arts and sciences.

See more of Lindsay’s work here:

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January 21, 2010 at 10:17 am

Jessica Westbrook

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Jessica Westbrook

I work with photography, video, motion, semiotics, language, and information design. My projects explore desire, cues, cultural artifacts, and contradictory sensations that vacillate between perception and truth, trust and suspicion, pleasure and poison, domination and submission, consumption and rejection, seduction and repulsion, comfort and friction, expectation and disappointment, fortune and catastrophe. Increasingly semantic in nature and modular in form, I consider my work a section of visual language culled from a complex matrix of assets, reconfigured and repurposed per space and time.

I was born in Pittsburgh, PA in the 1970’s and grew up immersed in my Dad’s disco and nightclub communities. As an architect, consultant, entrepreneur, and addict, my Dad’s priorities lie in the design and implementation of fantasy, escapism, and social experiences that appealed to the most basic human desires. His business endeavors kept my family in flux, moving up and down the East Coast, until we finally settled in the sprawling suburbs of Orlando, FL in the 1980’s. I spent all of my formative years privy to both the nature and business of adult entertainment, and in contrast, the simulated construct of family entertainment branded complexes like Disney World, Kennedy Space Center, and Universal Studios. Like everyone else I went to public school, watched a lot of cable, took in a lot of advertising, and developed my own habits and hobbies – mine included an intense interest in the facts/figures and life/sex/death cycles presented in nature documentaries like “Our Wild America.”

When I was 9 years old I started making photographs and with my Mom’s encouragement, photography became an element of consistency, structure, and interaction in my life (my own language and social device). I believe the forces experienced early on: familial chaos, desire and social constructs, business and simulation, the mediation of nature, and the exploration of images and visual language; continue to influence my thinking and inform my work.

In college I studied art, and went on to receive an MFA in photography from Tyler. At 24 I entered professional life as a web designer/developer in the Baltimore DC metro area during the height of the dotcom. At 25 I got married. At 26 I had a baby. At 27 I ditched the corporate/government mix (and the layoffs, commutes, cost of living, airplane crashes, anthrax, snipers…) for life in Chattanooga, TN, where art, ideas, education, and community could take precedence.

I currently live and work in Chicago, IL and continue to be interested in the intersection of art, design, anthropology, nature, and systems. My work is increasingly motion based and collaborative. Recent exhibitions have included Ars Combinatoria (Orlando, FL), Eyedrum (Atlanta, GA), Hyde Park Center (Chicago, IL), MGFest08 (Chicago, IL), E32 (New York, NY), Livebox at Looptopia (Chicago, IL), Pierro Gallery (South Orange, NJ) / Newark Public Library (Newark, NJ).

You can see more of her work at:

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January 21, 2010 at 8:32 am