Antimap's Stripes Bridge The Gap Between New Media And Op-Art
Does the internet offer us an endless supply of artistic possibilities or does it herald the end of creativity? The overabundance of content on the web is as counter-productive as it is beneficial. With such a large amount of data—and, more importantly, imagery—available online, artists face more difficulty than ever as they strive to produce original, innovative and never-before-seen work.
Its within this context that Canadian artist Oli Sorenson takes advantage of the multimedia arts. The artist embraces the scarcity of innovation and uses copies or samples of other artists’ work. By reconstructing works of established artists, he offers us a hybrid, pseudo-collaborative work, appropriating certain elements, yet adding his own vision and artistic perspective.
“I try to go beyond any medium-based practice. I use painting, printing, and video installation to highlight that the subject matter is more important than the process of image-making,” says Sorenson.
The Antimap series has evolved into maturity over the last three years as Sorenson, a former internationally-recognized VJ, now integrates projection-mapping within the confines of a gallery. Through Antimap, the artist revisits the work of Daniel Buren, utilizing Buren’s signature black and white stripes. Sorenson then projects these designs onto three-dimensional surfaces, adding his own visual element to the work. He describes these 3-D surfaces as “screens that resist their role of passive receptacles, and inform the video images with an additional element of perception."
AntiMap is a reflection on current practices in art. According to Sorenson, unlike other mediums, digital artworks are time dependent: they are altered by their difficulty to be archived. By using new media, he hopes to create a return to painting.
“With Antimap, in a way I’m expanding the vocabulary of painting, the discourse around surface and materiality is very much present in this series,” he explains. “But going further, I’m quite aware of the strong potential for obsolescence in video and other digital formats. Since we know painting has survived through all these centuries, having a painted version of Antimap assures it will be accessible to generations to come, which is a perfectly legitimate ambition to have as an artist, one that artists seem to put to aside nowadays, although I’m not sure why.”
The artist will present a new version of Antimap in Montréal at Art Souterrain next week.
“Art Souterrain is going to be quite a different iteration of the series, because of the environment. The ambient light will be much brighter than usual and so I will have to surround the installation with a tent, and people will look at the work through peep holes. I’m very happy to be continuing this series, to explore more challenging situations such as these, and also experience more direct interaction with new audiences.”Oli Sorenson’s Antimap will be at Complexe Les Ailes, Montréal from March 2 till March 17.
All Photos Courtesy of Oli Sorenson