Locust Projects is pleased to present Under Water, a collaboration between New York-based artists David Kennedy Cutler, Michael DeLucia and David Scanavino. Their room-scale installation reinterprets a pastoral beach scene across two and three dimensions, with synthetic sun and moon rising over a pixelated ocean.
Evoking ambiguities of scale and dimension, the artists tile, wallpaper and construct this environment with CNC-routed forms and computer-generated textures. The project’s distribution of labor reinforces a cross-media turbulence, where each artist contributes elements marked by their distinct, individual practices: DeLucia carves a giant tire, a surrogate for the sun, that emerges from a wave of plywood construction; Scanavino’s pattern of blue tiles hint at the cresting ocean; while a repeating motif of Cutler’s face, representative of the audience, directly confronts the impending wave. The scene as a whole is caught at the apex of its potential, suspended in time while pointing towards its possible aftermaths.
Under Water plays with the artifice of representation in the digital age; the approximation of a copy to its original. To this end, the artists both embrace and resist what they call “post-truth materiality,” a phenomenon—largely catalyzed by digital technologies—where objects and materials are no longer necessarily what they appear. This thinking complements Austrian theorist Peter Weibel’s notion of the post-media condition where he lends distinct consideration to the computer, what he terms “the universal machine,” as the ultimate mimetic tool: It serves as a surrogate that can simulate the “abundance of possibilities” of any medium. At the center of Under Water is the question surrounding the instability of medium and material today as a direct byproduct of digital culture. This comes through particularly in how the artists locate the current topographies of creative enterprise:
…where cheap images govern more and more space; where architecture begins to look more like the renderings used to speculate upon; where everything is under perpetual construction; where imaging, rendering and digital proliferation have radically shifted our notion of the landscape
The project’s collaged scenery approximates an image editing or CAD workspace, where shapes, images and textures intersect with the impulse and urgency of copy-and-paste terms. Through this work, the artists provoke an understanding of physical materials to be as shifting and unsettled as their digital counterparts. Under Water is a virtual landscape that imports its digitality into material territories, subsumed within the fractured and multi-hyphenate divide between reality and its representation.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
David Kennedy Cutler (b. 1979, Sandgate, VT) earned his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Kennedy-Cutler’s work has been exhibited at the Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia, in conjunction with Art in General, New York, NY; Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA; Abrons Art Center, New York, NY; Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC, and the Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, among others.
Michael DeLucia (b. 1978, Rochester, NY) lives and works in New York, NY. He received his MFA from the Royal College of Art, London, UK, and his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI. DeLucia’s work has been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara, CA; Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels, Belgium; Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, MI; and Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY.
David Scanavino (b. 1978, Denver, CO) lives and works in New York City. Scanavino holds a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design (2001) and an MFA from the Yale University School of the Arts (2003), Scanavino’s recent museum solo exhibitions include Imperial Texture at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield CT; Candy Crush at the Pulitzer Foundation of Art in St. Louis, MO; and a public commission for the Columbus Metropolitan Public Library in Columbus, Ohio.