I am an interdisciplinary artist working at the intersections of installation, sculpture, light, and new media. I create immersive installations that explore the eternal tension between Utopia and Oblivion, providing both critical ruminations on contemporary culture and radiant lenses through which to envision brighter futures.
My current work explores the complex effects of rapid technological acceleration on the human body, psyche, and social structures. These forces have the potential to connect us over vast distances, democratize knowledge, and provide tools for collective liberation, while simultaneously functioning as instruments of power that systematically divide, confuse, control, and surveil us. My work is concerned with both the intimate personal experiences and macro social reverberations of these emerging technologies.
I am a Xicana painter of mixed settler and colonized identity who spent the past 8 years in the wellness or the “new age” industry. I was the creator of popular tarot and oracle decks and also spent those years as a Tarot reader. The esoteric while outside seemingly inclusive, was instead rampant with racism, tokenism, plastic shamanism and white supremacy. In 2018 I left and I thought I knew what my art was about or where my research was headed. I thought it had to be dismantling an industry that I have continued to see do appropriative work, but I am realizing that it’s not that.
Wellness made me unwell and trying to “fix” it or point out its flaws made me even more unwell. I realized that the complexities and nuances go beyond what I was first made aware of years ago.
It is just not the appropriative, hungry nature of wellness, but also sometimes the self-appointed gatekeepers of “knowledge” that can also be just as extractive. How often I was told or made to feel that I was directionless, that I needed to always heal and heal my ancestors. That services or healers could connect me back and that their motivational wisdom was enough to sustain my desires for Decolonial learning and growth. This didn’t ever speak on bypassing, ethics, self accountability or accepted outside critique.
What I have been understanding though is that there is no set way to go about my own journeys or un/learning paths. That if something doesn’t feel right, it usually isn’t right. If I question something, that is completely normal and I should continue to question. That the pace of un/learning is at your pace and not on the timeline of others or the collective. I thought this work had rules and that the voices I listened to were monoliths, but in truth, it’s not. People make mistakes, they fumble, they’re flawed. We should be able to question these things and the intentions behind it.
I hope with my paintings and research that I can continue to have these conversations. That as I lay layers of acrylic against canvas and interpret the past years of my life that I make space for my former self. To talk to this ghost that does not haunt me, but instead inform me.
My practice sheds light on human identity in contemporary mainstream culture and deals with universal themes such as alienation, angst, popularity and loneliness as well as introspective impressions of exposure to information abundance. Using various media – such as video, sound and writing – I invent atmospheric warps and realms that explore and create obscure – and sometimes dystopian visions, mixing the manic with the melancholic.
I’m driven by questioning what is reality and what is perception and engage with this question by merging the familiar with the foreign.With a background in design I have a fascination with popular advertisement and an interest in de-and reconstructing the structures of traditional advertising. I question the value of beauty and “sellability” in a culture of abundant commercial stimuli, and consider the consequences of accelerating image culture and the curse of the digital age.
Dani Kwan hails from the suburbs of Southern California. Growing up with a mother who studied archaeology and worked in the aerospace industry alongside an aunt who is an avid bird-watcher and conservationist, much of Kwan’s work is viewed through historical, sociological, and scientific lenses.
Having studied fashion design in high school, fine art in college, and working as a graphic designer, Kwan’s artistic practice encompasses a diverse selection of media. Likewise, their interests are varied and many, however their work is tied together with the intent of educating others.
Kwan’s long-standing research has been focused on the intersection of fashion and identity. Their work often includes surveys of our societal values regarding gender and sexuality, as well as expressions of their struggle with societal expectations as a multi-racial and non-binary person.
From used fast-food bags and waiting room magazines to store circulars and withdrawn library books, there’s no shortage of fuel for collage in an age inundated with unreliable media. Through dissecting and reassembling the printed paper pulp of our daily lives, I aim to spin a new narrative, one that uncovers clandestine connections and encapsulates the full chaos of our time. Equal parts speculative humor, cultural time capsule and Molotov cocktail, my work examines the relationship between American pop culture, consumer ethos, Earth and our beliefs. Through collage, I wish to investigate the forces uniting and dividing our world, document the present, and postulate a more palatable future.
Operating under a moniker allows me to boil myself out of the equation and take on sensitive issues in a more direct and humorous manner. The Johnny Onionseed alias enables me to simultaneously jab, prod at and pay homage to the romanticized history many of us have inherited. A fictional relative of the late John “Appleseed” Chapman, Johnny Onionseed re-writes American history as the last living descendent of USA’s most infamous vagabond-pioneer-real estate agent.
His work can be found on Instagram @JohnnyOnionseed
Katherine Parker’s studio practice copes with the complexity of theories in cognitive science by utilizing distortion, plasticity of definition, and misinterpretation. Parker’s work investigates how the separate roles of conscious and subconscious influence individual perception and spatial interpretation. Her work is concerned with the fragility of objective experience as it filters excessive visual and subconscious information in the understanding of external space. She is currently exploring how subconscious internal processes, such as digestion and muscle memory, impact an individual’s consciousness.
Katherine Parker primarily works in installation, projection, digital drawing, photographic manipulation, painting, and fiber work.
Ress works primarily with photography, often combined with text, as a means to explore how abstract political, economic and environmental processes manifest themselves in the physical world.
His work has been recognized by Photo District News; American Photography; Communication Arts; The One Show; D&AD Awards; Lenscratch, Center Santa Fe, The Forward Thinking Museum; and the PH Museum. Recent commercial clients include Toyota, Liberty Mutual, Pirelli and Royal Caribbean. His work has been published in Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time and MIT Technology Review.
Ress recently completed a fellowship with the Center for Social Cohesion and Arizona State University and in conjunction with the New America Foundation. The resulting archive of images documents where Americans go to find a sense of community and connection to place. A series on the California aqueduct was recently published in UCLA’s BOOM Magazine and included in “After the Aqueduct,” an exhibition at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA. America Recovered was featured at the 2015 Reyner Banham Symposium with a theme “The Aesthetics of Citizenship” at The University of Buﬀalo, Buﬀalo, NY. In 2020, America Recovered was published by Actar Publishers, Barcelona and New York with funding support from the New York Council for the Arts.
My work frequently explores common perceptions of American identity and Western values. Specifically, I examine a variety of facets including: media, consumerism, capitalism and gender roles, while also delving into the impact that these systems have on environmental and social injustices. My work is reflective of the duality of my upbringing as an expat, “third-culture kid” and the experience of living in the United States for the first time when I moved to New York City as a college student. I am currently working on a smaller, more intimate scale; reflective of the confinement and limited social interactions that have come with quarantine. I have been examining common “Americanized” foods to address our relationship to these “comfort” items, specifically the role of artificial preservation and mass production, via machinery, in consumerist culture, especially as the world has ground to a standstill.