Jody Zellen Personal computer Brian C Moss

Jody Zellen: Public Discourse

In this electronic age we see ourselves getting translated additional and additional into the form of facts, shifting towards the technological extension of consciousness.

Marshall McLuhan

In some cases carrying on, just carrying on, is the superhuman achievement.

Albert Camus

Prepared by Gary Brewer
The platforms on which artwork has been exhibited- from the cave walls of Paleolithic artwork to the white cube of contemporary artwork, has affected and formed the way that we see and interpret our practical experience. It also displays the society in which we live and how we have formed the earth and been formed ourselves by this shifting environment.

Jody Zellen is an artist who utilizes her personal computer and the World wide web to prolong the get to of her artwork to the environment at significant. The white dice dematerialized and limitless room grew to become the location by means of which an audience can engage and interact with her artwork.

I requested Jody if this was in part, a political statement, referencing how early conceptual artists sought to dematerialize their art as a way to counteract the market forces of commodification. Jody replied, “When I was in art faculty all those thoughts have been currently being expressed efficiency artwork, installation and conceptual artwork were what was currently being taught, so that was an influence. When I bought out of school, I hoped I would turn out to be a effective artist with perform traveling out of galleries on to the partitions of collectors. It was my aspiration to be on the deal with of Artforum (laughs). But when that did not occur to go it was genuinely vital to me for my perform to be viewed. I commenced by publishing and disseminating confined edition artist’s textbooks that incorporated the picture collages that I was making. Then in 1996, I was introduced to Web Artwork [art projects made to be viewed online that were more than the posting of photographs of preexisting artworks] and understood that I could blend my photographs and animations into interactive artworks that could be considered on line as Web Art. I cherished that anybody with an web link could see them. I observed Net Art as a form of community artwork and that is very important to me- to have the do the job available for the greatest possible viewers.”

Jody has designed a spare visual language of ciphers that stand for nameless human figures and city environments of structures and avenues. These depictions are carried out in a easy graphic fashion that is immediate our brain rapidly sees and understands the silhouettes and linear depictions of the metropolitan areas and spaces that the figures inhabit. Jody states that graffiti has influenced her model of illustration.

I asked her a little about the early beginnings of her world wide web jobs- what she was performing and what motivated her. “I wished to develop something opposite to the obvious linear logic of how information was introduced. My early Internet Artwork operates ended up intended to confuse and frustrate the viewer. Instead than unfolding in a very clear linear path from just one point to another, I preferred viewers to have shock links that would choose them to something surprising. I preferred viewers to get lost… I was attempting to deliver a thing poetic into the knowledge.”

Jody has been operating on a key new piece, Avenue S, that is a reflection of the isolation and aloneness that we are collectively enduring for the duration of this time of the Coronavirus.

To estimate Jody’s introduction to Avenue S, “Avenue S is a new addition to Ghost City, a Net Art job I began in 1998. It will be an ongoing development of Web Artwork internet pages that contains fragmented photos and texts that are a poetic meditation of isolation. Simply because of COVID – 19 and the mandate to shelter in position, it feels like a ghost town just about everywhere. The streets are empty, the seashores and parks are closed. As we keep at property or stroll on your own putting on masks, I needed to supply an alternate experience.”

It is a extensive piece- at two hundred and eighty internet pages hence much. The pacing and cadence of these interactive internet pages induce a meditative condition of brain. All of the webpages unfold in silence. Her graphic ciphers of an nameless human figure are a metaphor of one’s personal working experience and the pan-particular encounter of this collective minute in time.

Jody’s drawings are animated doing very simple points: rearranging, assembling and disassembling, getting a element of a sample all in the meandering free of charge-floating point out of consciousness of a doodle unfolding. This adds a poignant excellent to the poetry of the piece. There is a thing in the sluggish rate and purposelessness to the figure’s actions that reminded me of Waiting around for Godot: the aimless duties of her figures, moving to the cadence of this bizarre period of time of time that the complete planet is dealing with.

As one particular moves as a result of the webpages, fragments from the globe seem: pictures that Jody has taken herself or observed online are intertwined: headlines from the day’s information a poem from a mate a different friend’s Haiku about our Coronavirus existence. Jody has used media for several years as a way to archive the instant in time when a function was designed or to include political content to the narrative of a piece.

In Avenue S, all of the photos and texts included in the internet pages refer to our collective plight. Jody said of this, “Early on, through the stay at property order, as I went on my day-to-day walks, I found chalk drawings on the sidewalks. They have been out of the blue all over the place as bright hopeful expressions. I commenced to doc these messages and made an expansive grid of these photos as a page in Avenue S. Later, as the George Floyd protests broke out, I made photographs of those people road markings and developed an animated website site to capture that moment of political unrest. Avenue S also involves many images of mother nature — cactus and other flora as effectively as their shadows –- produced on excursions to the desert and mountains. I developed interactive grids with these visuals that improve shade as your cursor goes in excess of them.” Just about every of these pictures and animations captures intimate moments from the dynamics of the environment and of the inside life of the artist. They are in a perception, a diary of this time we are all experiencing and a record of how we cope with it.

Jody reported that her early photographic parts ended up a lot more impersonal expressions, but that she has permitted the operates to come to be much more personal with Avenue S because of the shared knowledge of residing with Covid-19. This part of the get the job done offers it a unusually disembodied visceral ability. By no means in advance of has the overall environment simultaneously experienced the identical threat, with the very same implies of attacking us. It is our most vulnerable need to have: to be social and to be shut, to kiss and hug each individual other, to shake arms and to discuss intimately in each and every other’s ears. To check out to restrain our selves from this most intimate existential need to have is a profoundly challenging endeavor for our species to achieve, and sadly the amount of fatalities and infections reflect how difficult this is.

Jody Zellen’s Avenue S is a silent wander as a result of a hall of mirrors, mirrors in just which every of us can detect with the reflection we see. It archives the emotional tone of our present-day globe, in a language whose simplified visuals connect their messages in a crystal clear and direct indicates. There is a mournful tone to this piece that can be understood by each of us dwelling by these tricky occasions.

Art is a way to convey our feelings and inner thoughts, the thoughts that shift us, or to chronicle momentous intervals of record. In Jody Zellen’s Avenue S, this bizarre pause in the electrical power and pattern of our existence is captured in a spare visible language whose meditative pulse little by little carries us by means of the visuals and photos that mirror our planet- a entire world silently held in the invisible pressure of a virus devoid of boundaries.

jodyzellen.com
http://www.ghostcity.com/avenue-s/

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