‘Future Artifacts’ explores digital, manual art-making

‘Future Artifacts’ explores digital, manual art-making
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

“Future Artifacts,” an exhibition in the Projective Eye Gallery at UNC Charlotte Center City, will be displayed through Friday, March 13. Featuring works by five artists, “Future Artifacts” addresses the “digital reality” of contemporary culture and its effect on artists and art-making.

Digital production has become so prevalent that people presume its contributions despite the existence of precise analog production; if something appears too complex or too exact, individuals almost automatically suspect the use of some digital process. Although digital fabrication has been increasingly used in every stage of manufacturing, the longstanding culture of making by hand remains relevant.

The artists of “Future Artifacts” directly or indirectly allude to the presence of digital fabrication, but do not necessarily rely on it exclusively. What is especially noteworthy are the natural materials they choose—such as felt, paper, porcelain, thread and wood—and how these materials contrast with notions of a high-tech culture.

For example, Alyson Shotz’s thread drawings of folding fabric can, at first, be mistaken for pixelated images, thus implying digitization. Yet, upon closer inspection, one realizes they are meticulously produced by wrapping and knotting colored threads in a specific pattern around thin pins.

Likewise, the other artists, Cha Jong Rye, Thomas Schmidt, Janet Williams and Ivan Toth Depeña, imply or use digital processes or blend digital with manual fabrication.

College of Arts + Architecture Director of Galleries Adam Justice curated “Future Artifacts” with UNC Charlotte art professors Janet Williams and Thomas Schmidt.

The Projective Eye Gallery will host a reception from 6 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 13.