Paul Brach Lecture Series
Artie Vierkant (b. 1986, Brainerd, MN) studied Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, and graduated with an MFA at the University of California. He now lives and works in New York. Vierkant makes art that is centred upon the importance of representation across media. This is evidenced throughout his practice, whether in the documentation or the process of creating his works. The interaction between physical and digital entities propagates debates related to both the development of art in a “post-internet” age and to its contemporaneous Intellectual Property rights.
Vierkant’s work often exists within the nexus of the physical and the digital, resulting in a hybridisation, illustrated in his decisive exhibition Image-Object , in which works were photographed and then transformed. There is a definite tangible element, communicated through photography, which necessitates the capturing of a physical object. However, by altering the compositions digitally, something fundamentally different and physically nonexistent is created. A digital-image-only existence. Accordingly, Vierkant subverts the conventional teleology of art, which usually ends with the exhibition. This speaks to the evolution of an increasingly digitised culture, in which online interactions are rapidly overtaking physical encounters. In The Image-Object Post Internet Vierkant views his work as a part of a system of meaning, where “Post-Internet objects and images are developed with concern to their particular materiality as well as their vast variety of methods of presentation and dissemination.” Resultantly, the materials he uses, such as aluminum, stainless steel and fibreglass, become representative of the current technological apex.
There is also a concern represented in his exploration of Intellectual Property, where mental creations are labeled as conceptual entities. This form of commodity, enmeshed into social structures, becomes a material that can be used as such or acquired and incorporated into an artwork. This involves a transaction and transmutation; just like any physical material there are limits related to its use. However, these are based upon legal limitations imposed by the owner. This creates a discourse, taking place between boundaries, exploring changing relationships between the virtual and the real and confounding classification. Through his work, Vierkant becomes a sculptor in a traditional sense, a digital artist and a digital sculptor. Each composition contains physical and digital elements, which are integrated into a systemic relationship advancing technologies, branded materials and other Intellectual Property variants.