a useless task it seems
December 3, 2022 - January 1, 2023
Exhibition ReceptionSaturday, December 3 5-8 pm
Open HoursSat-Sun 12-5pm
drop in or by appointment
to schedule a visit
Holiday HoursChristmas Day: Closed
Christmas Eve + New Year’s Eve: 12-4pm
New Year’s Day: 12-5pm
Exhibition StatementThe art and design duo Midgray (Kris Blackmore and Simon Boas), with artist Pat Boas, presents new bodies of work that reflect on the cyclical nature of repression, resilience, and resignation. Approaching these themes through seemingly distinct mediums, the artists examine the floods of information that have swept us into this particular cultural and political moment. Together they question how we can imagine alternatives as we struggle to keep our heads above water.
In her collection of textile pieces and home goods, Kris Blackmore draws from the cultural and personal anxiety that has accompanied our gradual and then sudden transition into a post-Roe society. These works are both historical and speculative in nature. Looking back and then forward in time, they implore the viewer to consider the urgency of our present situation.
Through symbolism and the encoding of vital healthcare information these works recall the ways women throughout time and place have found ways to communicate about their lives and oppression via skills frequently discounted by the art market and patriarchal societies as frivolous craft. Simultaneously, references to binary code and viral maker movements situate us in the modern day. As states ban abortions, social media has proven its effectiveness as a source of information, distribution, and coordination for those seeking to terminate. Conversely, it’s a reminder of the role digital surveillance plays in maintaining control over the reproductive autonomy of marginalized groups.
Simon Boas investigates how digital mass media normalizes violence. By leveraging artificial intelligence to break apart and rearrange news imagery into a smooth gradient of predicted emotional responses, he attempts to regulate–to an absurd degree–the level of chaos to which we are exposed every day. In another work, Boas records the initial moments of every first-person shooter video game he played up until the age at which he was legally permitted to purchase a firearm. The recordings reveal a motif: Time and time again, he is taught to fire a virtual gun at a living being. Taken together, these works form an inquiry into the patterns made palatable through modern technology as well as the limits of the technologies that enforce those patterns.
BiosMidgray (Kris Blackmore and Simon Boas) is a multidisciplinary studio that experiments with art and design to create projects that do not necessarily culminate in a product. They examine language, attention, gender performance, privacy, and consent through outputs that span digital and print media, moving images, interactive installations, curatorial projects, workshops, and games. They have exhibited internationally with institutions and publications including ACM SIGGRAPH, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, and the Institute of Network Cultures. Their work has received awards from The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission and the University of California.
Pat Boas makes paintings, drawings and collaborative digital projects. She is represented by Elizabeth Leach Gallery in Portland, Oregon.
photo credit: Mario Gallucci