Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ryan Trecartin: I TOTALLY understand you!


Still from video A Family Finds Entertainment (2007)

In the past I have researched artists that I really respected and enjoyed: Anne Hamilton, Christian Marclay, Brian Eno. But none of these artists even come close to the kind of appreciation and sheer awe I have gained from researching the work of Ryan Trecartin. Who IS this person? I would not be surprised if somebody told me that he landed on earth in a spacecraft. Since researching him my self-esteem and artistic motivation have both been flushed down the toilet. Although I completely respect and idolize him, I also envy him in a way, for possessing such a beautiful and brilliant vision.

His art speaks to and critiques my generation: the kids who can't remember a life without computers. He presents a cynical view on the hilarity of the internet-culture-playground that we have grown up with. He realizes that living our cyber-lives has serious consequences on our actual lives and relationships. He is not the first person to have realized this, definitely, but he throws this message at us in a way that is so subtle we might think we are watching just another Tim and Eric concoction, or a reality TV show on acid. Through his use of fast-paced editing, avant-garde sets, unintelligible narratives, and colorful costumes, he gives us a daunting view of what might become of us if we don't take the logic of the internet out of our real lives. His characters seem like they are desperately searching for meaningful relationships while all the time battling with severe ADD. They are some of the most truthful creations I have seen in a very long time. I enjoyed researching his work because it so closely resembles the message I was trying to create with my Facebook Project. Check out his work on the link attached to his name above.

5 comments:

  1. I find it so amusing and wonderful that his work is online which is the audience he is mocking, yet it is the audience who he is directing it towards. It really is an interesting way of going about it because it is so subtle and really takes some unpacking to understand, but wow...is his point good and targeted to the audience that seems to need it most!

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  2. I intend to look at more of his work in order to fully grasp and appreciate his concept that you describe as sort of being enveloped by the digital world and how it effects the "real world" we actually live in, but for what Ive seen so far I think he is really hitting the nail on the head. His visions are becoming more an more realistic every day, as I find myself growing increasingly wary and resistant to all of the technologies that we utilize (or choose not to) from day to day. Great presentation!

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  3. I was really entertained by Trecartin's videos. I agree that it's very interesting that his target audience is the same demographic that he's making fun of, and I think that's part of the appeal. I'm also not surprised that you really like his work, because it has a lot of similarities to your work, specifically the Facebook Stalking photos.

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  4. I was very intrigued by the clips you selected for you presentation and I will definitely be checking out his actual videos. He seems to almost be creating a generational dystopia based on computers and internet lives, specific to us and those who will follow us. Maybe his target audience wants to be critiqued and mocked in order to feel like it is alright to stray away from the constant use of technology that is quickly becoming the societal norm, if it is not the norm entirely already.

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  5. He takes all that Internet stuff, puts it in a blender and extras acid colored nightmares. We wonder if non-digital natives can really truly "get" it (though they can try) the way digital natives can. Love the idea of a "transumer"!

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