Allan Pichardo + Michael Espinoza
August 5 — 26, 2023
Exhibition ReceptionSaturday, August 5, 5–8 PM
Open HoursSat-Sun 12-5pm
drop in or by appointment
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Exhibition StatementPichardo and Espinoza present a body of work that weaves each artist's exploration of self, community, embodiment, and inheritance across intersecting identities. Their work demonstrates the processes of seeing oneself and of connecting that vision across time and place—through ancestors of the African diaspora, queer ancestors lost to persecution, and journeys of self-discovery—giving many-formed life to their diverse practices. Pichardo and Espinoza embed technology in ways that are sometimes subtle (representing digital outputs with handmade media), and at other times overt (an immersive VR experience), playing along the boundary where humans and algorithms negotiate for the future of human representation.
Espinoza presents pieces from two bodies of work: Instant Gratification is a group of instant photography-based textile works depicting forms of queer intimacy. They expose glimpses of queer futurity, interiority, memory, embodiment, loss, and survival. The second, Reader, is a series of digital collages that mix photography, textile, and printing strategies. This work complicates the relationship among time, memory, reality, sensation, and materiality.
Allan Pichardo’s speculative software-based works are subversive repurposings of everyday technologies: they conjure images of alternate realities wherein the power dynamic between users of technology and the corporations that monetize them is reversed. In Follow the Drinking Gourd, an immersive virtual reality experience reverse-engineers the Google search algorithm to investigate the lost histories of the African diaspora through music. Talkinghead finds robotic news pundits mining social media for discussion topics, and playing out an infinite debate fueled by public opinion. Finally, in Machine Gaze, Pichardo draws out a digital facsimile of himself by mining 20 years of profile images from social media and training a neural network to create warped portraits.
BiosMichael Espinoza is a non-binary, multi-racial, multi-disciplinary artist whose work embodies and embraces the undone artistic practices of Queer Ancestors lost to persecution, disease, fatal sadness, and closets. Their current practice utilizes embroidery, quilting, digital media, collage, and photography to explore sex and sexuality, intersectional identities, intimacy, the body, and contact with the dead. They have previously exhibited live performance, site-specific installation, and video. Their work can be found in public art collections, digital spaces, domestic and international group shows, and spaces intended for queer joy.
Allan Pichardo is a digital media artist from the Dominican Republic currently based in Portland, Oregon. Holding a Bachelor of Fine Art in Computation Arts and Computer Science from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Allan explores the materiality of digital media and delves into themes of identity and post-truth in our digitally mediated world. His interactive media, virtual reality, and algorithmic compositional works have been showcased at InterAccess in Toronto, Studio XX in Montreal, Babycastles in New York City, and the Fountainhead Residency in Miami, FL.