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Friendly Ghost is a digital offering of web-based works, musings, and resources in the time of COVID-19. The internet has always served as a powerful alternative, a virtual arena of action that, while not replacing our local situations, has revealed potentials that amplify our capacity to act collectively. In this time of isolation, where many of us are left alone with our thoughts and our internet connections, we seek to examine and utilize the online sphere as a way of lessening the distance. How is a story told six feet (or more) apart? How is an exhibition coded? How does an artist paint digital proximities? Where do artists sit in the algorithm? Let’s imagine new ways of relating, of building social space, and of anticipating an alternative means of animating our social body now, while the Friendly Ghost is activated.
Friendly Ghost is curated by Aaron Mulligan, and opens with works by: Camille Yvert, Tony Gonzalez, Noah Travis Phillips, Jamie Raap, Cassie Shao, Everything is Collective, Ian Bruner, Brian Zegeer, Nichole Shinn, and Paige Landesberg.
In an effort to measure our consumption of content, and extend a hand throughout this marathon, Friendly Ghost will be sending you weekly digital gifts. Sign up to receive your gifts here.
Tony Gonzalez is an American Architect living and working in the “City” of Los Angeles. His work investigates Architecture’s precarious relationship with visual culture, media, “late-stage” capitalism, the sublimation of ‘The State’ into corporate controlled feudal territories, and [more broadly] the Internet. Realism, the Picturesque, the Baroque, the Ready-Made, Cheapness and Banality [or, maybe, what we used to call the Generic] certainly also appear as major themes. Put another way, his work is disciplined by an anxiety about the anxieties that discipline the discipline of Architecture. That is to say, while some contemporary architecture practices seem to be revisiting the project of making Architecture out of architecture, Tony’s work is concerned with making Architecture about architecture. Or, less frequently, making architecture about Architecture. His work has been exhibited in Des Moines IA, Rome IT, Venice IT, Detroit, New York, Los Angeles CA. Tony has received a number of awards for his design work, and has worked on built [A/a]rchitectural projects in Minnesota, Iowa, and California. He received his M.Arch with distinction from the University of Michigan in 2017.
Nichole Shinn was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She received her BFA in Painting from The Pratt Institute in 2014 in Brooklyn, New York, which is where she currently works and lives. In 2014 she co-founded an independent publishing project called TXTBooks with 3 friends, specializing in Risograph printing. She helps manage production with TXTBooks and is a freelance illustrator working with clients such as Rhizome, Supreme, and Bloomberg Businessweek. Currently her practice explores projected and internalized fantasies onto the feminine identity, body, spirit and mind. Executed through interdisciplinary techniques such as painting and ceramic, she builds her own characters and worlds that reflect the conflicted relationship between empowerment and degradation within fantastical feminine representations. She has selected artist book’s held at the Whitney Museum, RISD, Yale, and SAIC Library, as well as the New York Public Library.
Camille Yvert is a London-based artist and founder of Offline Press. Her practice involves sculpture and publishing to explore the alienation of body in a pervasively transient architecture and the triumphing of efficiency in post-industrial societies. Recent exhibitions include New Contemporaries at South London Gallery, London (2020); The Wrong Biennale, Offsite Project Pavilion, curated by Ian Bruner, UK (2020); How I Naturally Improved, The Gibberd Gallery, Essex (2019); and Housewarming, curated by Clémentine Proby and Melanie Scheiner, Maison Touchard, London (2019). In 2018, she received her MFA in sculpture from the Royal College of Art.
Noah Travis Phillips is an artist and educator; he received a BA from Naropa University in Fine Art and Environmental Studies and his MFA from the University of Denver in Emergent Digital Practices. His methodologies involve appropriation and digital/analog collage and montage strategies with the assistance of algorithmic systems. Phillips creates adaptable and multicentered artworks with a practice that includes 2D and 3D digital fabrication, videos, books, performance, and the internet. Phillips’ interdisciplinary research interests integrate personal mythology, the Anthropocene and the Posthuman. Phillips’ most recent exhibitions include a performance lecture at the Museum of Human Achievement in Austin, TX (“Where Secrets Are Still Kept”) and a group show at JuiceBox Gallery (“Pre-Text n.1”); as well as the Welcome to My Homepage Digital Artist Residency and SketchUp Artist Residency. His work was featured in the 2018 The Wrong Biennale for new digital art. He performed in the 2015 Biennial of the Americas. He has exhibited nationally and internationally. Phillips is Visiting Teaching Assistant Professor in Emergent Digital Practices at University of Denver. He lives and works in Boulder, Colorado.
Cassie Shao is an Animation + Visual Artist currently based in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of School of the Art Institute of Chicago and School of Cinematic Arts at USC. She works across the field of independent films, music videos, projection mapping, advertising as well as animated television series. Cassie chooses to explore and reflect contradictions in herself upon the dream realm. Despite being left often in isolated and growing surreality, her characters are forever unmoved by the situation. She blends together both digital and analogue materials to evoke the otherworldly perspective. She will always praise bathtubs, the spine, and ever insoluble questions.
Everything Is Collective (E.I.C.) is an ongoing collaboration between three artists: Jason Lukas, Zachary Norman, and Aaron Hegert. Since 2013, the group has worked together on numerous exhibitions, publications, and web-based projects, all of which address contemporary issues in photography and image making. The practice is truly collaborative, and all the works created are attributed to the group as a whole. Because of the special nature of this collaboration, E.I.C.’s projects do not conform to the traditional structures that photographic work often fits into, nor can concepts be easily explained by a simple thematic text. E.I.C. treats the collaboration as a microcosm, a space where the most contentious and exciting subjects in contemporary photography, art, and culture at large can be stripped away from the Grand Narratives to which they have been assigned, and be explored in a more intentional, devious, and uncompromising way.
Ian Bruner is a Colorado-based artist with a BA English Literature degree from UCCS. Working digitally and in nature Bruner’s practice has most recently begun to explore the gamification of labor and leisure hours. His work has been featured in shows including: Beneath the beach, seamless paving stones, Rhizome Parking Garage, online (2019); Orchid, Pyeongchon Architectural Park, Anyang; The Value of What?, BSMNT, Leipzig; Omni Salvation, Center Red, Moscow; AVAKIN #opencall, AVAKIN LIFE; Finches sung in the trees and nothing was wrong, Off Site Project; The Finder, Off Site Project, online; and Straight Line Labyrinth, Final Hot Desert, Utah (2018). His work is featured on the online platform Going Away.tv and in Blessure Magazine.
Brian Zegeer was born in Lexington, KY. His works encounter the Appalachian and Lebanese landscapes of his parentage as highly-charged networks of belonging and collective hallucination. Zegeer believes that the process of stop-motion animation can awaken the quiet narratives embedded in a place. Zegeer worked with archivists and community groups to recover the story of the Manhattan’s Little Syria and the early 20th Century literary movement that blossomed there. He recently completed a 2-year residency at the Queens Museum, examining this history against the backdrop of Robert Moses’ transformative vision for the city, and his role in the Little Syria community’s displacement.
Jamie Raap is a Berlin-based creative producer and curator of Taupe Magazine. Previously, she was an art director and co-founder of the 3D design collective ZEITGUISED. Nowadays, she focuses on helping artists navigate their way through the often treacherous path of commercial collaboration. In 2019, she launched Taupe as a platform for digital artists to showcase and contextualize their research and personal work.
In her spare time, she studies the patterns and trajectories of design and pop culture while dreaming of awkward props and dada storytelling. Occasionally, all these discrepancies melt into visuals, but an inspired life is her real goal.
Paige Landesberg is a Brooklyn based artist who creates interdisciplinary works that interpret the way individuals uniquely perform and relate to ordinary objects and everyday motions. She is committed to the idea of multiples and making work that is portable, accessible, multi-use and therefore pragmatic. The work is typically rooted in primary research with an investment in generating a document rather than creating an image, and responds to concept above than craft, always incorporating an element of the adhoc, working in media such as photography, video, design, writing and printmaking in various forms with roots in sculpture and performance discourses. In addition to her object practice, as an art-worker, Paige is deeply committed to supporting and collaborating with artist publishers, and curating public programming, for platforms such as Miriam Gallery and Brooklyn Art Book Fair.
Aaron Mulligan is a curator and artist from Colorado currently based in Brooklyn, NY. His practice focuses on the intersection between image and concept. This entails an investigation of the relationship between an image and its context, as no context is regarded as neutral and no culture is evaluated in terms of a hierarchy of cultures. Mulligan likes to build bridges between visual cultures outside those traditionally encompassed in the category of the fine arts, looking to explore the abstraction at work in the visual products of sub-cultures ranging from sports fans, cosplayers, collectors, to gamers. His methods entail a disregard for Western notions of authorship and stylistic novelty and emphasize the incorporation of interdisciplinary perspectives. Mulligan also advocates for the movement toward a post-work society, attempting to shift the value awarded to labor over to the process of education. He has served as an educator both formally (as a professor at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver, CO) and informally (by offering independent workshops). He follows the approach of Joseph Albers in treating the role of the artist as that of an educator. From April 2018-October 2019 Mulligan ran a gallery and educational space called Juicebox in Denver Colorado with his wife Lucía Rodríguez.