This online article is an interview with Contemporary Artist Ryan Trecartin. Via questions directed at the artist the writer further investigates and elaborates on the underlying meanings in Trecartin’s work. Trecartin explains that his projects usually start with words, written or audio. Visual components are also linked to linguistic components: logos, products, graphic design, interfaces etc. The script is then expanded from these basic elements, and spatially different characters, signifiers, mentalities and accents form. What is actually filmed then stems from the script in a synergy between script, situation and performers. The performers are given free agency to create something new, to create additional meaning/s that were not originally intended.
I am in the early stages of experimenting with preformative artworks, that much like Trecartin's, use human actors as forms or entities to act out situations. That are inspired by or infer how collective and individual identities are formed via their relationship to the multifaceted digital and physical worlds that we all now inhabit.
The reason I have chosen this article, is that much like myself Trecartin is also re-purposing cultural elements into a new form. My own creative project is also making use of existing cultural signifiers and re-purposing them, to place the viewer in a similar non-linear cultural and psychological landscape. I plan to further expand my performance based works, and use Trecartin as an inspirational influence to challenge what I am conveying and exploring with my art practice.
This video commences with the artist Ryan Trecartin explaining his artwork and creative practice. He explains that he is trying to comment on how people are sculpting out a space with conversation, but without it being clear what they are saying, and how via non verbal communication somehow the meaning in these interactions is still conveyed. He creates works inspired by these kind of interactions and how to him they collectively create a thematic or singular didactic meaning. He then acts this out, and via multiple bodies communicates a singular concept. He then elaborates on the concept, in relation to his video artwork ‘The centre of Jenny’, he references social media, and how the interface dictates your engagement with others in a way, and raises the question ‘do you want to be in a hub, or do you want to be in an environment that has tools that you can use freely’, and expands that this is about free will. Characters are like reflected, fragmented versions of stereotypes.
The reason I have chosen to look further into this video, is Trecartin is also extracting elements of culture and re-purposing them to analyse and critique the world we live in. I believe that I am also doing this via my collage works, that make use of an initial cultural reference image to scaffold meaning upon to. My performance works are in very early rudimentary stages, however I can see as mentioned previously that I anticipate that Trecartin's work will inspire me to challenge how these works convey meaning and extend myself and the viewer to see the world from different perspectives. His works are quite condensed in the meaning they convey, which is unsettling and destabilising. They make use of a free form of elements to suggest surreal psychological and physical landscapes, inferring rather than directly inscribing meaning, to question the viewers perception of what is played out in each artwork. I would also like to aspire to create artworks that also challenge viewer perceptions like Trecartin's work, and I will keep him as an ongoing reference to feed and inspire complex meanings in my work.
The works of Trecartin, Rosetzky and Breitz all in their own way contextualise elements of the new non physical digital landscape that we all now psychologically enhabit. To some extent, you could argue with our lives, and interface with the world becoming more digital and detached from the real, that they are all attempting to investigate, dissect and depict this new ephemeral space.