Ambient Commons
September 7 - October 7, 2018

Loney Abrams & Johnny Stanish
Shireen Alia Ahmed
American Artist
Theodore Darst
Cole Lu
Luke O'Halloran

 Luke O’Hallorian,  TRIPLE SUN, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE,  2018, oil on paper, 24 x 39 inches

Luke O’Hallorian, TRIPLE SUN, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, 2018, oil on paper, 24 x 39 inches

Stasis happens as a perpetual transition between the private and public spheres... [It] acts as a mechanism that converts the “cosmo” of “cosmopolitan” into “corporate” and the polis into property. - Hito Stereyl, Duty Free Art

The ambient commons refers to the embedded design elements of our built environment that affect how we think, behave and orient ourselves to the world. Today, the constant technological mediation of these social and civic infrastructures (screens, networked objects, “big data”) has created a competitive, transactional atmosphere in which attention and experience is fractured. If we consider the ambient commons as a field of power relations, what does it look (and feel) like when the environment in which we establish and experience presence is increasingly mediated and even generated by technologies?

The works in this exhibition were created under these destabilizing conditions, and they alternately embody, address or respond to them. They repurpose and reproduce tools used to navigate space and contextualize experience; they harness pathos specific to the moment using the means of the moment; and they speculate on futures wherein technology and design extend their reach into the biological.

Cole Lu’s found object sculpture spatially re-contextualizes a swimming pool safety ladder; American Artist recreates a paper sign used to direct tours of the Underground Railroad to “Freedom,” examining the result of feeding the term, loaded with historical specificity, through today’s ubiquitous word processing software. Theodore Darst uses iPhone software to layer imagery, figural sketches and text to create lush digital surfaces, exemplifying the capacity of a smartphone to radically redefine both personal and work space. Shireen Ahmed similarly maps personal expression onto net sourced moving images and audio. Luke O’Halloran’s slot machine windows here gesture toward the addictive qualities of contemporary media as well as represent a certain optimism concerning fate and jackpots that characterize the modern psyche, ever intent on achieving the good life through consumption. Loney Abrams and Johnny Stanish’s speculative advertisements display pharmaceutical products on handmade paper. These ads deliver content targeting the ideal hyper-capitalist consumer subject of the future, but do so using material processes common to anti-capital survivalist communities, highlighting two demographics in stark ideological contradiction with each other.    

 Theodore Darst,  Life Moves Slow in the Garden , 2018, print on aluminum dibond, 11 x 14 inches

Theodore Darst, Life Moves Slow in the Garden, 2018, print on aluminum dibond, 11 x 14 inches

 Cole Lu,  Sincerely Gracious One Morning (Pool Hang) , 2017, stainless steel in-pool ladder, concrete, towel, dimensions variable

Cole Lu, Sincerely Gracious One Morning (Pool Hang), 2017, stainless steel in-pool ladder, concrete, towel, dimensions variable

 Loney Abrams & Johnny Stanish,  Lactisilk™ , 2018, UV print on handmade paper (pulped Wall Street Journal, copper foil, sunscreen, incense wrapper, price tag, collagen peptides, rose petals, RAW rolling paper, magnesium chloride bath salts, dandelion root, keto matcha protein powder, chrysanthemum buds), Neurohacker nootropic pills, magnets, 18 x 14 inches

Loney Abrams & Johnny Stanish, Lactisilk™, 2018, UV print on handmade paper (pulped Wall Street Journal, copper foil, sunscreen, incense wrapper, price tag, collagen peptides, rose petals, RAW rolling paper, magnesium chloride bath salts, dandelion root, keto matcha protein powder, chrysanthemum buds), Neurohacker nootropic pills, magnets, 18 x 14 inches

 Shireen Alia Ahmed,  In folds of a Durée , 2016, digital video, 7:39 loop

Shireen Alia Ahmed, In folds of a Durée, 2016, digital video, 7:39 loop

 American Artist, Untitled, 2018, exit sign (UGRR, Croghan Station, Second Baptist Church of Detroit), 8 1/2 x 11 inches

American Artist, Untitled, 2018, exit sign (UGRR, Croghan Station, Second Baptist Church of Detroit), 8 1/2 x 11 inches

 Detail, Loney Abrams & Johnny Stanish,  Lactisilk™ , 2018

Detail, Loney Abrams & Johnny Stanish, Lactisilk™, 2018

 Detail, Loney Abrams & Johnny Stanish,  Lactisilk™ , 2018

Detail, Loney Abrams & Johnny Stanish, Lactisilk™, 2018

 Detail, Theodore Darst,  Life Moves Slow in the Garden , 2018

Detail, Theodore Darst, Life Moves Slow in the Garden, 2018

 Detail, Theodore Darst,  Life Moves Slow in the Garden , 2018

Detail, Theodore Darst, Life Moves Slow in the Garden, 2018

 Detail, Cole Lu,  Sincerely Gracious One Morning (Pool Hang) , 2017

Detail, Cole Lu, Sincerely Gracious One Morning (Pool Hang), 2017

 Detail, Luke O’Hallorian,  TRIPLE SUN, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE,  2018,

Detail, Luke O’Hallorian, TRIPLE SUN, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, 2018,

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Installation view