As an artist whose interests include the influence of digital culture on the broader sphere of creative production, Guthrie Lonergan works with the Internet as a source material. Rather than merely limit himself to this realm or make work that is “about the Internet”, however, he positions his practice within the pervasive reach of today’s Internet culture, a culture that has shaped not only the production of contemporary art also but the conditions under which it is experienced and marketed as a creative industry.
Built with Indexhibit (2016) was first exhibited on the Hammer Museum’s website for Made In LA 2016, and will be on display on Lisson Gallery's website for the duration of the exhibition, 'Difference Engine', curated by Cory Arcangel and Tina Kukielski and on view at Lisson Gallery New York.
To create Built with Indexhibit, Lonergan sourced text from just over one thousand artists’ statements, automatically culled en masse from self-managed artists’ sites that were built using the once ubiquitous web-portfolio platform Indexhibit. Through a web-based widget in the style of Clippy—the digital assistant made famous by Microsoft Office in the early 2000s—the statements are delivered by a cast of distinctive M&M figures, many designed by the now-defunct M&M Character Creator, which allowed users to produce a personalized avatar based on the popular characters from commercials for the candy. The characters and statements are randomly paired, and together they point to the packaging and self-marketing that have become integral aspects of artistic practice since the advent of the web.
'Difference Engine' is on view at 504 West 24th Street in New York through 10 August.