American Artist’s Blue Life Seminar
In this exclusive two-week screening, watch the artist’s meditation on identity, state power, and implicit bias.
Jul 20, 2022
American Artist’s Blue Life Seminar screened here July 20–August 3, 2022. The video is no longer available for streaming. Join us for the next Hyundai Card Video Views screening, beginning August 24, 2022.
Since legally changing their name in 2013, an act that made them both anonymous and ubiquitous, American Artist (b. 1989) has been producing what they describe as “thought experiments.” These interdisciplinary artworks propose alternative realities that examine the implicit biases pervading contemporary culture and technology. In a body of work from 2019, the artist turned their attention the American law enforcement system. The video Blue Life Seminar, which became part of MoMA’s collection in 2021, is shown in a constructed classroom environment prepped for a fictional police-training seminar. An otherworldly “talking head,” drawn from science fiction and recent historical events, addresses a room of imagined cadets from a digital void, invoking the one-way address of television and the instant engagement of social media. This online screening extends the figure’s reach, allowing him to take over our personal devices and infiltrate our domestic spaces. Recently I spoke with American Artist via email about this character’s layered story and the many meanings of blue.
American Artist’s video 2015 (2019) is currently on view in Pervasive Light: Works from MoMA’s Media and Performance Collection, the Museum’s partnership exhibition with Hyundai Card in Seoul. Join us in August for the next edition of Hyundai Card Video Views, as the series continues its consideration of how artists engage with the technologies that have become central to our daily lives.
—Erica Papernik-Shimizu, Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance
Media and Performance at MoMA is made possible by Hyundai Card.
Major support is provided by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Director’s Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art.
Generous funding is provided by the Lonti Ebers Endowment for Performance and the Sarah Arison Endowment Fund for Performance.
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