An Artist Bio via 500 Letters

I’m participating in Fun-a-Day 2014, a daily art challenge through the month of January, committed to do a daily post here detailing some Big Art Idea or project that looms somewhere out in my future.

I just discovered an amazing bit of coding fun.  The Belgian artist Jasper Rigole, created the 500 Letters Artist’s Biography Generator.  He introduces 500 Letters in a hilarious letter to an unnamed curator.

The generator provides a form in which you provide your name and other details, your primary and secondary media, and recurring themes in your work.  The result is strangely fitting as you can see from my new artist’s bio below. Try it for yourself.

Wes Modes (°1966, Inglewoood, CA, United States) creates media artworks, sculptures, performances and installations. By contesting the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience, Modes tries to create works in which the actual event still has to take place or just has ended: moments evocative of atmosphere and suspense that are not part of a narrative thread. The drama unfolds elsewhere while the build-up of tension is frozen to become the memory of an event that will never take place.

His media artworks feature coincidental, accidental and unexpected connections which make it possible to revise art history and, even better, to complement it. Combining unrelated aspects lead to surprising analogies. By experimenting with aleatoric processes, he formalizes the coincidental and emphasizes the conscious process of composition that is behind the seemingly random works. The thought processes, which are supposedly private, highly subjective and unfiltered in their references to dream worlds, are frequently revealed as assemblages.

His works are given improper functions: significations are inversed and form and content merge. Shapes are dissociated from their original meaning, by which the system in which they normally function is exposed. Initially unambiguous meanings are shattered and disseminate endlessly. By demonstrating the omnipresent lingering of a ‘corporate world’, he absorbs the tradition of remembrance art into daily practice. This personal follow-up and revival of a past tradition is important as an act of meditation.

His works demonstrate how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the effects of global cultural interaction over the latter half of the twentieth century. It challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, between our own ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilized’ selves. By putting the viewer on the wrong track, his works references post-colonial theory as well as the avant-garde or the post-modern and the left-wing democratic movement as a form of resistance against the logic of the capitalist market system.

His collected, altered and own works are being confronted as aesthetically resilient, thematically interrelated material for memory and projection. The possible seems true and the truth exists, but it has many faces, as Hanna Arendt cites from Franz Kafka. Wes Modes currently lives and works in Santa Cruz, CA.

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