Descrizione Opera / Biografia
Every Building [Transition] on the [Google Street View] Sunset Strip is a wall-sized diptych of video projections revisiting and reimagining Edward Ruscha’s 25-foot-long accordion-folded book Every Building on the Sunset Strip (1966) in the interest of gaining a better understanding of contemporary photography in the current juncture of conceptual uncertainty and technological transition. The work, shot entirely with Google Street View in 2016 and edited in 2021—I sat on the raw footage for 5 years not knowing what to do with it—blends the relatively unchanged industrialised urban landscape of Los Angeles, which resembles any other industrialised city, with the imaging and digital mapping technologies of the surveillance age. I have always been intrigued by Google Street View’s metamorphosis from an experiment in 2007 into the massive and ever-growing archive that it is today. While editing the work frame-by-frame—there are 120,000 frames in total—I decided to focus on the mishap glitched frames (a natural snag/flaw that happens in Street View as the frames transition). I was interested in emphasising the medium as the visual source of inspiration—in the same way that Ruscha was interested in the artistic idea or concept—as well as the fluidness between digital information and art, and between new technologies and old systems. On a more personal note, I am fascinated by the play between originality and imitation—the copy of a copy of a copy of a copy (forever repeating for aeons and aeons)—throughout the history of art, so it was a reflective experience to drive down the Sunset Strip 50 years after Ruscha. There is no art, or art history, without borrowing, appropriation, fraud, plagiarism, and theft. Art, especially digitally-derived art (and music), is a mashup of aesthetic approaches that question authorship, while relying on the authority of the original for validation—I guess I should say ‘thanks Ruscha!’
Kailum Graves is a multi-disciplinary and conceptual media artist critically obsessed with the artifactual digital object. Through artworks, writing, and curatorial projects he investigates the hidden and invisible structures of power. While this interest stems from very personal experience and is a way for him to begin to understand, accept, and deal with his own complex post-traumatic stress disorder (c-PTSD), angst, anxiety, and depression, his work addresses ideas, metaphors, images, themes, (dark) humour, feelings, and symbols which are universally shared (the nuances of human existence). He uses the dynamic and fluid nature of the digital medium to explore and express inner turmoil and pain that is often hidden from the outside world. Using elements of abstraction and distortion to reflect the dissociation, memory fragmentation, and disjointed nature and challenges of making sense of one’s experiences. Kailum majored in art history and philosophy at the University of Queensland, graduating in 2011 with an Honours dissertation focused on American Internet-based activist group The Yes Men, Russian collective Voina, and international hacktivist group Anonymous as a way into discussing the wider practice of culture jamming, and to question the efficacy of political art under the hegemony of multinational capitalism. Career highlights include being exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra; international exhibitions in the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Switzerland, China, Brazil, Denmark, Iceland, Russia, Portugal, Poland, Malaysia, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, and the United States; being a finalist in numerous international and national art awards; participation in an international conference in Mexico City; residencies in Skagaströnd, Berlin, Beijing, and Changsha; speaking engagements at the 2018 Critical Animals Creative Research Symposium; winning the inaugural BigCi and Red Gate Gallery artist residency exchange program; being awarded a funded residency, commission, and exhibition at PLAN8T; being featured in Digital America; receiving Arts Queensland and Australia Council funding; winning the 2016 Clayton Utz Art Award; and being acquired by the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery’s permanent collection. He was the founder and totalitarian head honcho of An Evolving Thesis—a website established to investigate and debate the cultural economy—and was the Director and Dictator of The Goodwink Conspiracy, an online residency program and curatorial platform.