New Vacation
Northwest Film Forum
Aug 1 - Sept 2, 2015

A multi-channel video and storefront installation, New Vacation features artists that are exploring commercialism, and gender roles through a contemporary internet aesthetic. New Vacation uses feminine aesthetics to present a larger retrospective into contemporary new media art making.

Decorative artist Jessica Dolence exhibits a new iteration of her animated wallpaper Wall Potpourri; Animated Wallpaper, haunted by an uncanny feminine presence. Brenna Murphy uses computer-based algorithms to experience common flora and fauna. Artist Hannah Patterson and May Waver slow this aesthetic down, creating elaborate sets in investigation of commercialism and online culture.

Jenny Odell references female clichés in the collection of moments extracted from YouTube makeup tutorials. The repetition of these quick movements over several frames, mirrors the anxiety associated with our social expectations regarding beauty, and the fatigue of repeating this ritual day after day. Ashley Armitage, takes the viewer into her muses bedrooms and bathrooms, creating a sense of voyeurism into their daily practices, domestic spaces, and ways of coping with gender role expectations. Similarly, Ellen Dicola investigates gender through the physical body, using autobiographical content and overly feminine stereotypes.

Brit Ruggirello’s installation mimics the experience of an escapist vacation, complete with sand, moon, and calming color palette. Together with Jueqian Fang, Ruggirello operates Mystical Orchid, a fictitious online store, selling useless, imaginative products, presented with a very clear commercialized aesthetic. Finally, Coley Mixan and Laura Hyunjhee Kim create work that represents the impermanence of online culture.

Through explorations of female identity in the digital age, each artist references our attachment to our rituals, aesthetic, and brand loyalties. New Vacationi>allows for the viewer to question whether our perceptions of comfort and beauty are genuine or are really just temporary vacations from media imposed cultural pressures.

Panel Discussion
Sept 1, 2015

A discussion lead by curator Julia Greenway and local Seattle artists Ellen Dicola, Coley Mixan, Jueqian (Ripple) Fang, and Brit Ruggeriello, in discussion on themes of beauty, gender, internet, and contemporary feminist aesthetics.

Photos by Joe Freeman