Future Shock takes its eponymous name from the prescient 1970 book by Alvin Toffler and Adelaide Farrell. The novel details the ways in which all aspects of society continue to rapidly change due to technological advancements, and exhorts the resultant psychological state of individuals and entire societies. The presentation offers a range of enquiries into the use of contemporary materials and approaches to address how technology is shaping our way of life.
The exhibition is framed by the strong ties between media art trailblazer Tony Oursler and his peers; Tony Conrad, Constance DeJong, Mike Kelley, John Miller, and Sue Williams. Considering Conrad’s treatment of structural film as both performance and sculpture in the 1960’s, as well as the responsive use of technology in performances, and Oursler’s dynamic use of projections to explore psychological dilemmas, the vanguard generation has offered the foundation for a new wave of artists adapting emergent technologies. Cory Arcangel, Josh Kline, Borna Sammak, Trevor Shimizu and Martine Syms are among the faction who continue to harness the power of contemporary technology and materials such as television, film, internet or multimedia to create sculptures, installations, paintings and videos that offer social commentary on modern culture.
Tony Oursler’s multimedia works combine sculptural elements with layers of video montage and sound, creating immersive installations with hypnotic effects. A new work from Oursler, Lux-JR (2023), probes the potential findings related to our current communities from excavations by future civilizations. One of Oursler’s earliest and most enduring collaborations is with Mike Kelley, whose works such as City 4 (2010) feature prominently in the exhibition. The two artists met while studying at CalArts in the mid-70s during its heyday of Conceptual Art, Performance, and Feminist Art which can be seen in the works of fellow CalArts students Sue Williams and John Miller, further elucidating the critical connections within the selection of artists.
A large installation of Tony Conrad’s acclaimed work, WiP (2013), stands towards the back of the 508 gallery. Originally filmed starring Tony Oursler and Mike Kelley in 1982-1983, the work directs attention to power dynamics within film by concentrating on an obfuscated genre - Women in Prison. WiP extended Conrad's examination of authority and transparency, and the recreated multimedia jail cell pushed his practice as a painter, sculptor, videographer, performer, musician, composer, and writer. Footage of Constance DeJong and Tony Oursler’s collaborative performance, Relatives (1988), fuses text and television, relating fictional family members to films, television shows and video games, along with DeJong’s more recent re-engineered radio sculpture Zenith Racetrack (2019).
Martine Syms’ timely video, My Only Idol is Reality (2007), uses an excerpt of season one of MTV’s The Real World. The episode, which aired in 1992, featured an argument about racism and privilege after the Rodney King trial. The work utilizes repetition as a structure to become more abstract – playing the video between tape decks again and again until the picture starts to disintegrate, as well as the discussion. Also focusing on a defining cultural moment from the 1990s, Trevor Shimizu’s video painting pairs footage of a personal encounter with the Tibetan Freedom Concert, with abstract painting to question common male artistic identities.
Also harnessing familiar televised events are multimedia works by Cory Arcangel that consider the growing ubiquity of technology in our homes and personal lives. The sideways-mounted screen, Super Bowl / Lakes (2017) becomes a monument to popular culture, in this case Super Bowl branding, on which Arcangel has utilized the Java program "lake” whose added code produces a wavy, liquid-like reflection on a horizontal plane reminiscent of websites in the 1990’s. Additionally, Arcangel’s use of recognizable imagery to consider the underlying implications of technology is on view in Express Yourself Clearly (2012) where JPEG sequences of Bill Clinton jogging have been uploaded into Walmart Polar Bear TVs that were marketed to families with children to increase the number of televisions within a single household.
Bringing mechanized qualities to gestural painting, Jacqueline Humphries’ Alpha (2014) evokes the static of omnipresent screens. Iconography from pop culture continues to be probed in paintings by Borna Sammak and Julia Wachtel. Extracting motifs from film, television, clothing and digital advertising, the artists explore the impact these recognizable, and repeated, symbols have on the human psyche.
With an overtly dystopian view of accelerating change, A New Career (2016), a shopping cart sculpture from Josh Kline’s Unemployment series, looks to a not-so-distant future where technological automation creates mass redundancies, while Kline’s Submersion (2019) part of his Climate Change series, ventures further into a future where the climate crisis has destroyed the American way of life and miniature interiors are preserved as specimens within a glowing lab hood.
(b. 1978, Buffalo, NY), is an artist, composer, curator, and entrepreneur living and working in Stavanger, Norway. Arcangel is the youngest artist since Bruce Nauman to have been given a full floor solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2011). Other exhibitions comprise: “Midnight Moment - Another Romp Through the IP (Times Square edit)”, Times Square (2022),“Topline”, at CC Foundation, Shanghai (2019), “BACK OFF”, at Firstsite, Colchester, Essex, UK (2019), “Be the first of your friends” at Espace Louis Vuitton München, Munich, Germany (2015), “This is all so crazy, everybody seems so famous” at Galleria d‘Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo (2015), “All The Small Things” at the Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik (2015), “Masters” at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2012–13), “Beat the Champ” at the Barbican, London (2011), and “Here Comes Everybody” at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2010–11) and Nerdzone Version 1 at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich (2005). Arcangel received the Kino der Kunst Award in 2015 and was shortlisted for the Nam June Paik Award in 2014. His work was included in the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Liverpool Biennial (both 2004). In 2014, he launched Arcangel Surfware, a merchandise and publishing imprint. Its flagship store opened in Stavanger, Norway in 2018.
(b. 1940, Concord, NH) lived and worked in Buffalo, New York (d. 2016). Recent solo exhibition include Culturgest, Lisbon (2022); MAMCO, Geneva (2021); Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2020); Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2019); MIT List Visual Arts Center and the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, Cambridge (2018); Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo and University at Buffalo Art Gallery (2018); Greene Naftali, New York (2016, 2013); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2014); and Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Villa Croce, Genoa (2013). His work is in the collections of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; Tate Modern, London; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.
(b. 1945, Columbus, OH) lives and works in New York and is an artist, writer and performer who produces fiction, language- and image-based work for performance and theater, audio and video installations. DeJong has twice collaborated with Tony Oursler on live performances; was a collaborator on Super Vision, with The Builders Association & dbox in 2005; and was the librettist for the opera, Satyagraha, with composer Philip Glass in 1979. Her first book, Modern Love (1977), was reissued by Primary Information and Ugly Duckling Presse in 2017. She has exhibited and performed both locally and internationally at venues including: The Kitchen, New York; The Renaissance Society, Chicago IL; McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, San Francisco; Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis MN; The Wexner Center, Columbus OH; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Threadwaxing Space, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Dia Center for the Arts, New York. In 2021 a solo, survey exhibition of the artist’s work was held at the Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery at Hunter College in New York. Her work is in the public collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
(b. 1965, Hall in Tirol, Austria) lives and works in Vienna and is a multimedia artist working in installation, sculpture, performance, photography and video. Hoeck’s work explores worldviews, social conditions, and the possibilities of perception. Together with his long-time collaborator John Miller, they use the inherent materiality of mannequins to explore bodies, surfaces, and transformation as displacement grows due to more of our life happening in the digital space. Living in New York City from 1993–1998, Hoeck received the MoMA/PS1 stipend. He has presented numerous exhibitions in both his home country and abroad at Meyer Riegger (Karlsruhe, Germany), Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig (MUMOK) (Vienna, Austria) and at the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, (Leipzig, Germany) as winner of the Blinky-Palermo stipend (2000). Further notable shows include his presentations at the third Istanbul Biennial and the Bienal de São Paulo (2018). In the United States, Hoeck has presented the video works “Something for Everyone” (2005) and “Mannequin Death" (2016) at Metro Pictures as well as at Meliksetian MB Briggs, Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibition in the United States include "HOUSTON, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM!" at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2022).
(b. 1965, New Orleans, LA) lives and works in New York. A solo exhibition of her work is on view at the Wexner Center for the Arts through January 2, 2022. Recent solo exhibitions include Dia Art Foundation, The Dan Flavin Art Institute, Bridgehampton, New York (2019); Greene Naftali, New York (2017, 2015); Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2015); Contemporary Art Center New Orleans (2015); Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London (2014); Greene Naftali, New York (2012); and Prospect.1, New Orleans (2008). Humphries was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Her work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; The Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tate Modern, London; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; and Museum Brandhorst, Munich, among others.
(b. 1954, Detroit, MI) received his B.A. in 1976 from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his M.F.A. in 1978 from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia. Kelley passed in 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Recent solo exhibitions include “Categorical Imperative and Morgue,” Van Abbemuseum, Stedelijk, The Netherlands (2000); “Sod and Sodie Sock (w/Paul McCarthy),” Biennale d’art contemporain de Lyon, Institut d’art contemporain, France (2003); “Mike Kelley–The Uncanny,” The Tate Liverpool, England (2004, traveled to MUMOK, Museum of Modern Art, Vienna); “Profounders vertes,” Musée du Louvre, Paris (2006); “Day is Done Judson Church Dance,” Judson Memorial Church, New York (2009); “Themes and Variations from 35 Years,” The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2012); “Mobile Homestead,” Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Michigan (2013); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2013); “An Homage to Mike Kelley,” MoMA PS1, New York (2013); and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2014).
(b. 1979, Philadelphia, PA) lives and works in New York. Kline’s work has been exhibited internationally at Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo (2020); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy (2016); Portland Art Museum, Oregon (2016); and Modern Art Oxford, UK (2015), among others. He has participated in group exhibitions including the Whitney Biennial, New York (2019); “New Order: Art and Technology in the Twenty-First Century,” Museum of Modern Art, New York (2019); MoMA PS1, New York (2013, 2012); and “2015 Triennial: Surround Audience,” New Museum, New York, among others. His work has also been exhibited at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2019); Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2019, 2015); ICA Boston (2018); MOCA Cleveland (2018); The Hirschhorn Museum, Washington DC (2016); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2016); Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo (2015); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2016); ICA Philadelphia (2014); and the Fridericianum, Kassel (2013). His work is included in the collections of numerous institutions including Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Aïshti Foundation, Beirut, Lebanon; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Rubell Family Collection, Miami. His film, Adaptation, premiered at LAXART in February 2022, on the occasion of his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.
(b. 1954 Cleveland, OH) lives and works in New York and Berlin. Along with Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw, Miller was part of an influential group of artists who studied at CalArts in the 1970s. In 2016, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, presented the first major American survey of his work. Miller has also had one-person exhibitions at Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Kunsthalle Zürich; Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Geneva; Magasin Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble, France; and Kunstverein Hamburg. He has participated in major group exhibitions at the New Museum, New York; CAPC Musée D’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux; Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; and MoMA PS1, New York. His work was included in the 1991 Whitney Biennial and the 2010 Gwangju Biennale. His writing and criticism have appeared in Artforum, e-flux, and Texte Zur Kunst and has been compiled in the publications The Price Club: Selected Writings, 1977-1996 (JRP Editions and the Consortium, 2000) and The Ruin of Exchange (Geneva and Dijon: JRP-Ringier and les Presses du Reel, 2012).
(b. 1957, New York, NY) lives and works in New York, NY, USA. Ourlser graduated from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA, USA and collaborated on early works with artists such as Mike Kelley. His museum exhibitions include Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan (2021); Musée d’arts de Nantes, Nantes, France (2020); Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY (2019); Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA (2017); Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art, Stockholm, Sweden (2016); Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson, NY, USA (2016); Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA (2016); LUMA Westbau, Zurich, Switzerland (2015); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2014); Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2014); Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, Ukraine (2013); ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark (2012); Helsinki City Art Museum, Finland (2005); Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA (2005); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2001); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, USA (2000) and Kunstverein Hannover, Germany (1998). In addition to participating in prestigious group exhibitions such as documenta VIII and IX, Kassel, Germany (1987 and 1992), Oursler’s work is included in many public collections worldwide, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, USA; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA; National Museum of Osaka, Japan; Tate Collection, London, UK; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands and ZMK/Center for Art & Media, Karlsruhe, Germany. The Public Art Fund will debut a new, site-specific project by Oursler on the Hudson River in October 2018.
(b. 1978, California, USA) lives and works in Long Island City, New York. He has had solo exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2020) ; Kunsthalle Lissabon, Portugal (2019); 47 Canal, New York; Galerie Christine Mayer, Munich; The Green Gallery, Milwaukee; Misako & Rosen, Tokyo; the Rowhouse Project, Baltimore (2015); and Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2013), among others. He has participated in group exhibitions at White Columns, New York (2015, 2011); the Whitney Biennial, New York (2014); and the Queens Museum of Art, New York (2012). Shimizu’s work is also included in public collections such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit; K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong; and High Museum of Art, Atlanta.
(b. 1986, Philadelphia, PA) has most recently presented solo projects with McNamara Art Projects, Hong Kong, in 2020, Sadie Coles HQ, London, in 2019, and JTT, New York, NY, in 2018. In the past year Sammak’s work was included in exhibitions at Massimo De Carlo in London and South Etna in Montauk curated by Alison Gingeras. His work has also been exhibited at the Marciano Foundation in Los Angeles, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, the Yuz Museum in Shanghai and the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo, among others. Sammak lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
(b. 1988, Los Angeles, CA) obtained an MFA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson (NY) (2017) and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (IL) (2007). Syms has exhibited internationally with upcoming and recent solo exhibitions including: Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen (opening winter 2021); Aphrodite’s Beasts, Fridericianum, Kassel (opening summer 2021); S1:E4, part of Glasgow International, Tramway, Glasgow (opening summer 2021); Ugly Plymouths, at Sadie Coles HQ Offsite, London, and at 5239 Melrose Avenue, presented by Bridget Donahue and Sadie Coles HQ, Los Angeles (2020); Boon, Secession, Vienna (2019); Shame Space, Institute of Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond (2019); Incense Sweaters & Ice, Graham Foundation, Chicago (2018); SHE MAD: Laughing Gas, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2018); Grand Calme, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2018); Contemporary Projects: Martine Syms, Serralves Foundation, Porto (2018); Projects 106: Martine Syms, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2017); VNXXCAS: Martine Syms, Camden Arts Centre, London (2017); The Easy Demands, CONDO: Bridget Donahue hosted by Sadie Coles HQ, London (2017); and Fact & Trouble, Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2016). Syms has been recognised with awards from United States Artists Fellowship (2020); Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media (2020); and Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago (2018).
(b.1956, New York, NY) lives and work in New York and Connecticut. Wachtel’s oil, acrylic, and silkscreen-on-canvas paintings, which are drawn from popular culture, explore the impact of our image-saturated world. A figure of the Pictures Generation artists who emerged in early-1980’s New York, Wachtel’s early work mined posters of movie stars, pin-up girls, political figures, and pop music icons, as well as cartoon figures drawn from commercial greeting cards. Her current work primarily explores the vast space of the internet, a place of constantly replenishing images on a disorienting scale. Wachtel appropriates, juxtaposes and ultimately distills these images into concentrated paintings, shifting the original logic and proposing an examination of the emotional, political and aesthetic conditions of an image dominant world. Selected exhibitions include MoMa, New York ;The Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. ; The Whitney Museum Of American Art ; Bergen Kunsthalle, Norway ; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis ; Le Consortium, France ; MAMCO, Geneva ; Migros Museum, Zurich ; Zabludowicz, London ; Cleveland Museum of Art ; ICA, London ; Kunthalle, Bern. Julia’s work can be found in institutions such as the MoMa, New York ; MOCA,Los Angeles ; The Whitney Museum of American Art ; FRAC Normandie ; Saatchi Collection, London ; Cleveland Museum of Art ; Brooklyn Museum ; Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels ; and the Zabludowicz Collection, London.
(b. 1954 Chicago Heights, IL) came to prominence in the early 1980s, with works that echoed and argued with the dominant postmodern feminist aesthetic of the time. In the years since, her focus has never waned yet her aesthetic interests have moved toward abstraction along with her subject matter and memories. She has had solo shows at the Vienna Secession, Geneva Center for Contemporary Art, and Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany, along with being included in 3 consecutive Whitney Biennials. She lives and works in Brooklyn.