March 11, 2017 by
GIPHY partnered with Mana Contemporary to present Surface, a group exhibition that inaugurated Mana BSMT’s 3,000 square foot gallery. It featured work by five prominent GIF artists and Mana BSMT Residents: Matthias Brown (Traceloops), Sam Cannon, Julian Glander, Thoka Maer, and Hayden Zezula (Zolloc). This exhibition was their first exploration into creating work that can only be experienced in a physical space: sculpture, installation, performance, and gaming. By eliminating screens and creating site-specific experiences, this exhibition illustrated a collective surfacing from the digital to the physical realm. Surface was open January 21 – May 31, 2017. You can read the press release here.
Matthias Brown’s Falling Faces explores physicality and process, as well as positive and negative space, using projection, shadow, and live painting on a free-standing screen. The piece seeks to highlight what is often seen as the shortcomings of production, showcasing these aspects of the process and using them as integral parts of the final work.
Sam Cannon’s work explores the way we consume images of women’s bodies, and the dialogue between digital art and art in the physical world. Her interactive piece, Self Preservation, is a life-size sculpture of her body cast in soap. A computerized shower system is triggered whenever the exhibition hashtag #SurfaceBSMT appears on social media: while we are invited to share the work online, we also contribute to its physical decay.
Julian Glander created an interactive gaming piece entitled Kwurdy. A roomsized, expressive blob on a screen responds to human input through a confusing controller interface. Glander’s work explores form and formlessness, and how we use these to express our emotions.
Thoka Maer’s Fig.8 combines dream-like animations projected on a threedimensional plane of geometric shapes, suspended by acrylic glass panels. Her work is a surreal exploration of the concept of vagueness through space and time.
Hayden Zezula (Zolloc)’s Emit consists of a 6 x 6 x 6 feet translucent paper cube, mounted from the ceiling on top of a 18 feet platform with a central pit, giving the illusion of being endless. A digital animation illuminates and activates the cube. This play of depth and light mimics the surreal environments that exist in his digital 3D work.
You can find more information on Surface here.