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Winter In America

Alex Corbett, Jeremy McBrian, Brittany Adeline, Aaron Pierce, Baijun Chen, Dylan Matsuno, Dan Talbot,

Harry Gould Harvey IV, Alaska TFD, Cybele Collins, Parker Loris Underkoffler, Joshua Boulos, Maxime Belykh, Marc Matchak, Keegan Bonds-Harmon, Swee Neezy, Trevor Shimizu, Casimir Ernest Gasser, Henry Bohan, Parker Ito, Wiley Guillot, Kasper Melted, Andrew Basinski, Ryan Delaval, Liby Hays & Tiff Bushka, Rafael Sánchez, Joshua Aldrich, Joram Schön

Jan 12 - 28, 2024
New York

My parents divorced when I was young and I distinctly remember a period that started around 2007/2008 where I had digital autonomy at my dad’s apartment on his computer. I visited him on the weekends where I had no school and most days were spent lounging inside. It was a tight space off of Kalakaua Ave in a sad building with a good view of Waikiki Beach. I think I remember mornings being particularly harsh, it would be around 63 degrees Fahrenheit around 6:45 AM, then rise in temperature steadily around 7:15 AM. Meth heads were walking about slowly around that time after their long nights yet were the loudest around this time while traffic flooded the area by 9:30 AM. Sunsets were unbelievably nice, the sky would turn red and orange and cold wafts of air would creep into the apartment unit, it was on the eighth floor. I browsed YouTube and during a time where niche groups surrounding advanced forms of video and ‘New Media Art’ were helping create the vocabulary for modern

meme culture. Access to that media was usually through a “Deep into YouTube” playlist. An example of an “LMAOWTF” moment that turned out to be an encounter with advanced video art was my encountering a video titled something like “FurReal Stimulation”. In the video, a white lady wearing secretary’s clothes starts making out with a FurReal Friends animatronic toy, putting her tongue in its mouth. I think I may have been around 10 or 11 years old when I encountered that. I looked more into her website and found that she’s a RISD graduate whose practice was comprised of similar acts. I have been trying to find that video again for around 8 years now, if anyone knows what I’m talking about please let me know. That was also around the time I found out about the Paper Rad YouTube channel and an infamous animated short called “Cuddlesticks” made by the animator who did the interstitial cartoon for the Toy Machine “Good and Evil” video. That was also around the time I encountered Devin Flynn’s animated skits on the show “Wonder Showzen” which immediately led me to his series “Ya’ll So Stupid” and then to a couple videos by Takeshi Murata that used Devin’s music as the soundtrack. Something about that period made my experience of the internet seem like you would inevitably and unintentionally encounter advanced/transgressive art and music as a condition of having internet access.

In 2009, I remember this rift moving IRL seeing an increase in murals popping up in Honolulu, the word ‘hipster’ thrown around a lot and a Barry McGee x RVCA collaboration release in Ala Moana Shopping Center. These three things alone had greatly influenced the course of local culture in how I saw it. I found myself navigating through clues to a question I didn’t completely understand, and that’s why I liked the internet (and used it as an example). My recollection of that time period was being a poorly socialized indoors kid recognizing that the older kids outside were having a lot of fun without me ever seeing what exactly they were doing.

Lyric video for Sliding by Backplate. Video by Mark Cross

Pick A Winner (2004), Load Records

? Nightmares by Wainstop Enterprises

Walkthrough of the Thomas Hirschhorn exhibit Cavemanman

Tedious Limbs (2003) by Devin Flynn

I encourage you to look at the comments of some weird or disconcerting piece of video art or music you watched 10 years ago and see how some the older comments may say something like ”was this guy on drugs” or “well I think that’s enough YouTube for today” and compare that with comments left by zoomers in the last 3-4 years and you may find them say things like “this feels like my dreams”, “I was expecting this to be a lot more disturbing from the animation style but it was actually kinda wholesome”, or “I know that in this post-satire era everything ends up being doused in irony in hyperbole. With all sincerity, I can say that this just brilliant filmmaking” or this comment on Ryan Trecartin’s “Center Jenny”, “Someone said it for i be area, so I’ll say it again: This guy somehow managed to film a drunk dream on camera”.

-Joshua Boulos

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