Scanner presents 11 artists who incorporate or respond to the latest innovations in digital media. Works by Jeremy Blake, Jim Campbell, John White Cerasulo, Craig Kalpakjian, Lynn Kirby, Clifford Le Cuyer, Wendy McMurdo, Paul Pfeiffer, Karin Sander, John F. Simon Jr. and Amir Zaki explore the myriad ways in which digital technology has begun to transform our perceptions. The exhibition was organized by Lawrence Rinder, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Curator of Contemporary Art at the Whitney Museum and former director of the CCAC Institute.
The artists in Scanner offer complex emotional, psychological and aesthetic expressions that defy the parameters of traditional disciplines. At the same time, the works in this exhibition can be neatly codified by the traditional art historical terms of the landscape and figure. Landscape here might be defined as "spatial terrain," and includes such vistas as Craig Kalpakjian's photographs of the inside of ventilation ducts or Jeremy Blake's psychedelic vision of snow falling on a moonless night. In all of these landscapes, the viewer discovers the profound strangeness of digital space often caused by exaggeration, miniaturization and a general loss of scale. The exhibition also allows us to challenge and explore our understanding of technologically created worlds with the work of Clifford LeCuyer who creates strikingly "digital" landscapes without using any digital means at all.
Scanner's figurative works elicit concomitant sensations of familiarity and foreignness—Paul Pfeiffer's looped iconic image of a basketball player stripped of insignia exulting after a game, ominously titled Fragments of a Crucifixion; Karin Sander's tiny, meticulous sculptures made with laser readings of human topology and a machine called an extruder; Wendy McMurdo's photographs of children playing instruments that have been digitally removed. The works belie our expectations; at the same time, the ubiquity of digital effects in our everyday lives makes these representations seem more possible, more real.