۱۴th of September — ۷th of November 2015 | Carbon12-Dubai
For his second solo exhibition at Carbon 12, media artist James Clar has created works that draw upon the increasingly blurred boundaries between the timeless digital world and the physical present one. Using both humor and a sense of wonder, the works in Double Rainbow all the way inspires a deeper questioning of technology’s influence on the nature of consciousness and our perceived shared reality.
The exhibition is named after a viral video from 2010 made by a man recording a double rainbow that appears in the early hours of the morning. The video struck a chord online for its raw emotion and seeming absurdity, however it reflected a much deeper observation on the prevailing sense of eroded reality that has been brought about by social media, the internet, and technology. It describes our fascination and fear of technology, how it has altered our view of the physical world, and our desire to make sense of it all.
For the exhibition, Clar pulls on various conceptual threads that analyze media and technology in clever and unexpected ways, challenging our sense of time and reality. Many of the pieces disrupt established technological systems – Disconnected (2014), features an electrical cable forcibly jammed into a wall that includes an electrical outlet. Connected to the cable is a lightbulb, that strangely, is lit.
In Horizontal Force (2015), the invisible forces of heat and motion are visualized while the physical object itself is rendered unseen. The piece freezes the movement of a bullet slicing through molecules of air, its thermal energy preceding it and visualized through lights, altering our sense of matter and duration.
Carbon 12 · Unit 37, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1 · Dubai · United Arab Emirates
James Clar is an artist who uses technology as a medium to critique the dissociative affects of technology itself. In today’s media-saturated and technologically integrated world, the separation between real and computer generated is increasingly blurred. His work uses controlled, artificial light as a sculptural medium with a computer-minimalist aesthetic. However, his subject matter offsets these data-driven techniques by dealing with (and in a way ‘digitizing’) the natural phenomena, human emotions, or socio-political environment we live in.
Originally studying film and animation at New York University; at graduate school (NYU’s Interactive Telecommunication’s Program), he came to view televisions as light systems and their own medium. Instead of relying on this set system, he started to develop his own visual systems by controlling and manipulating light itself. These light works became a physical extension of the pixel beyond the screen, pixels that created three-dimensional sculptural form.
In 2007 James moved to Dubai and lived there till 2012. In the five years living there he became an active participant in the development of the arts and culture scene of the globalized city. While his early work dealt with analyzing how technology and media work, his experiences in the Middle East saw his focus shift to how technology and media affect. This included themes of nationalism, globalism, and popular culture in the age of mass information.
In 2012 James moved his studio back to New York where he currently lives and works.