By repurposing methods of television, cinema, and video production, Ken Okiishi’s work responds to the migration of images, information, and language in a world increasingly reshaped by digital media.
gesture/data combines video recordings with painting to create hybrid image-objects suspended between analog and digital technologies. The artist was inspired by viewing Wood, Wind, No Tuba (1980), an abstract painting by Joan Mitchell (American, 1925-1992), in MoMA’s Agnes Gund Garden Lobby. As he photographed the painting with his iPhone, Okiishi was fascinated by the transformation of its original scale and physical presence into a small, portable field of glowing pixels and code. Okiishi paints directly onto the surfaces of flat-screen monitors that play mash-ups of 1990s VHS home recordings of sitcoms and advertisements partially recorded over with sequences from new, digitally broadcast television. gesture/data playfully suggests connections between the physical traces of gestural painting and the swipes, taps, and pinches through which we now access digital images, subject to infinite redistribution.
Gallery label from Cut to Swipe, October 11, 2014–March 22, 2015.