I am an interdisciplinary artist working at the intersections of installation, sculpture, light, and new media. I create immersive installations that explore the eternal tension between Utopia and Oblivion, providing both critical ruminations on contemporary culture and radiant lenses through which to envision brighter futures.
My current work explores the complex effects of rapid technological acceleration on the human body, psyche, and social structures. These forces have the potential to connect us over vast distances, democratize knowledge, and provide tools for collective liberation, while simultaneously functioning as instruments of power that systematically divide, confuse, control, and surveil us. My work is concerned with both the intimate personal experiences and macro social reverberations of these emerging technologies.
My practice sheds light on human identity in contemporary mainstream culture and deals with universal themes such as alienation, angst, popularity and loneliness as well as introspective impressions of exposure to information abundance. Using various media – such as video, sound and writing – I invent atmospheric warps and realms that explore and create obscure – and sometimes dystopian visions, mixing the manic with the melancholic.
I’m driven by questioning what is reality and what is perception and engage with this question by merging the familiar with the foreign.With a background in design I have a fascination with popular advertisement and an interest in de-and reconstructing the structures of traditional advertising. I question the value of beauty and “sellability” in a culture of abundant commercial stimuli, and consider the consequences of accelerating image culture and the curse of the digital age.
Dani Kwan was raised in the dynamic landscape of the Greater Los Angeles area surrounded by shopping malls and mountain ranges. With an anthropologically-obsessed mother and peak-bagging aunt, Kwan spent much of their childhood outdoors and in museum spaces. With an artistic perspective on human interactions between each other and the world around us, their work over the last ten years has been primarily in response to social institutions, identity politics, and ecology.
With formal training in studio art and graphic design, Kwan incorporates history, philosophy, the natural sciences, field studies, and material culture in their research. The subjects they have addressed are varied, such as gender performativity, bird-nesting techniques, virtual world-building, and geological processes. Driven by concept, Kwan’s creative practice encompasses diverse forms of expression and media including video, performance, sound, curation, drawing, sculpture, photography, graphic design, and fiber arts.
The execution of the concepts that Kwan explores is consistently confronted by the desire for legibility, aesthetics, and catharsis. Their internal navigation moves between legibility, or work that communicates a clear message, and ambiguity, which allows for open interpretation. This debate is influenced by their career as a graphic designer and visual communicator of clarity and concision, and life as a multi-racial queer artist, whose identity is slippery, messy, and nonlinear.
From used fast-food bags and waiting room magazines to store circulars and withdrawn library books, there’s no shortage of fuel for collage in an age inundated with unreliable media. Through dissecting and reassembling the printed paper pulp of our daily lives, I aim to spin a new narrative, one that uncovers clandestine connections and encapsulates the full chaos of our time. Equal parts speculative humor, cultural time capsule and Molotov cocktail, my work examines the relationship between American pop culture, consumer ethos, Earth and our beliefs. Through collage, I wish to investigate the forces uniting and dividing our world, document the present, and postulate a more palatable future.
Operating under a moniker allows me to boil myself out of the equation and take on sensitive issues in a more direct and humorous manner. The Johnny Onionseed alias enables me to simultaneously jab, prod at and pay homage to the romanticized history many of us have inherited. A fictional relative of the late John “Appleseed” Chapman, Johnny Onionseed re-writes American history as the last living descendent of USA’s most infamous vagabond-pioneer-real estate agent.
His work can be found on Instagram @JohnnyOnionseed
Katherine Parker’s studio practice copes with the complexity of theories in cognitive science by utilizing distortion, plasticity of definition, and misinterpretation. Parker’s work investigates how the separate roles of conscious and subconscious influence individual perception and spatial interpretation. Her work is concerned with the fragility of objective experience as it filters excessive visual and subconscious information in the understanding of external space. She is currently exploring how subconscious internal processes, such as digestion and muscle memory, impact an individual’s consciousness.
Katherine Parker primarily works in installation, projection, digital drawing, photographic manipulation, painting, and fiber work.
My work frequently explores common perceptions of American identity and Western values. Specifically, I examine a variety of facets including: media, consumerism, capitalism and gender roles, while also delving into the impact that these systems have on environmental and social injustices. My work is reflective of the duality of my upbringing as an expat, “third-culture kid” and the experience of living in the United States for the first time when I moved to New York City as a college student. I am currently working on a smaller, more intimate scale; reflective of the confinement and limited social interactions that have come with quarantine. I have been examining common “Americanized” foods to address our relationship to these “comfort” items, specifically the role of artificial preservation and mass production, via machinery, in consumerist culture, especially as the world has ground to a standstill.