Portraits in Landscape is a video animation that exemplifies Gannis’s signature process of remixing historical artworks with contemporary forms of communication, taking smartphone and selfie culture to the extreme. It depicts two separate figures in a twinkling landscape, each immersed in their smart phones and occasionally snapping photos.
The piece is inspired by the sixteenth-century mannerist painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, noted for his proto-surrealist portraits composited from images of animals, vegetables, flowers and books. Rather than static, organic objects, Gannis uses thousands of her own digitally painted emoji to compose her images. The work speaks to the hyper-real condition of inhabiting virtual and physical landscapes simultaneously, and its characters may seem uncannily familiar to viewers in Times Square where the work will be featured through August 31, 2018 in the Midnight Moment by Times Square Arts, the Public Art program of the Times Square Alliance. A partnership project with the Streaming Museum.
DATES August 4 – October 21
LOCATION: Artworks and Experiences Exhibition Governors Island, Nolan Park Building 8a
TIMES: Fri. Sat. Sun and Holiday Mondays noon – 5 pm
Artist Talk: Saturday August 11th at 3 pm featuring artist Carla Gannis with composer Michael Lee and exhibition presenting partner Nina Colosi from the Streaming Museum.
Since her arrival in New York in the 1990s, Carla Gannis has been exploring the language of the digital medium in physical and virtual works. Gannis received an MFA in painting from Boston University and is faculty and assistant chair of the Department of Digital Arts at Pratt Institute, New York. She has engaged with the virtual domain by collaging threads of networked communication, online art history, and speculative fiction to produce dark and often humorous explorations of the human condition. Gannis’s work has appeared in numerous exhibitions and screenings, nationally and internationally, including Lady Ava Interface, Sunrise Sunset, Whitney Museum, NYC; Portraits in Landscape, Midnight Moment, Times Square Arts, NYC; Until the End of the World, DAM Gallery, Berlin; A Subject Self-Defined, TRANSFER Gallery, Brooklyn; and The Garden of Emoji Delights, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers. Gannis’s speculative fiction has appeared in DEVOURING THE GREEN:: fear of a human planet: a cyborg / eco poetry anthology, published by Jaded Ibis Press (2015).
Soundtrack by Michael Lee
Michael Lee is an Interactive art student at Pratt Institute who works with visual and aural mediums. Lee has an interest in synthesizing new experiences through carving at virtual canvases and digital waveforms. Recently he’s participated in the FILE 2018 LED Show in São Paulo, Brazil as well as performed live visuals for Sean and Michael Lee of Livecode.NYC at Eyebeam, Babycastles and Secret Project Robot. He produced the soundtrack for artist Carla Gannis’ 3-channel video “Portraits in Landscape, Sunrise” which is now on exhibition at the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Foundation in Santa Fe, as part of “TRANSFER Download,” and on Governor’s Island as part of Harvestworks’ “Artworks and Experiences” exhibition.
Studio Assistance by Janine Kelly and Rebecca Singer
“Times Square’s history and present are saturated with technology and communication. We see it in the spectacular electronic billboards that compose our digital landscape, and in the hands of the millions of people who make it the second-most Instagrammed place in the world. Carla Gannis is an artist who is thinking deeply and playfully about the relationship between our smartphone culture and our nature. Exhibiting this work as a part of Midnight Moment closes the loop between the people on our plazas and our unique environment.”
– Andrew Dinwiddie, Times Square Arts
“Carla’s sensational, delicious artwork transforms portraiture and nature by cross-pollinating them with the technologies that are changing the world. What better place to showcase this vision than Midnight Moment at Times Square, the Crossroads of the World!”
– Nina Colosi, Streaming Museum
Interviews and Press Coverage:
New York Times,“Young Digital Artists, Anxious About … Technology” by Frank Rose, July
Digicult,“The Emojification of Reality: interview with Carla Gannis” by Filippo Lorenzin, June
Huffington Post, “How One Artist Turned a Hieronymus Bosch Masterpiece into An Emoji Explosion” by Katherine Brooks, Dec 13.
STREAMING MUSEUM brings a worldview into focus through the arts and its interconnections to contemporary international affairs and cultures, the sciences, technology, the future, and more. Since 2008 the museum has produced and presented exhibitions and programs that have reached millions on 7 continents in public spaces, at cultural and commercial centers, and StreamingMuseum.org, made possible with generous support from the J.M. Kaplan Fund and FJC Foundation, as well as many collaborators.
The museum’s arts programs have promoted the culture, international relations, historic commemoration, and tourism of countries, and have given visibility to foundations and brands that support the arts.