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Cullen Houser: Singularity
Exhibition Dates: March 20 – April 14, 2023
Reception: Friday, April 7, 5-8 pm
Tandem Press is excited to host Singularity, a Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition by Cullen Houser, University of Wisconsin-Madison MFA candidate and 2022-2023 Tandem Press Studio Project Assistant.
Singularity explores the intersection of digital and analog through the materiality of their muddled union. Facial features, patterns, and lights are all subject to manipulation and distortion implemented through both artificial and tactile means.
I create work that dissects and reconstructs the overstimulating manifestation of a post-internet world. My process of layering media, both analog and digital, stems from my history as an intaglio printmaker. These tense environments are ﬁlled with neon and videoworks that collide with paint, collage, and prints. Resulting in maze-like compositions, the constant ﬂux among the materials forms a ﬂexible hierarchy of imagery. The boundaries of each mark are redeﬁned through interactivity and context, which causes the work to establish a life and agency of its own.
This bombardment of mark-making mimics the ﬂood of online interactions from social media, advertisements, and news outlets. I regurgitate these experiences, ﬁltering the onslaught of information by building chaotic compositions. Themes of decay and dystopia intertwine with contemporary internet culture, lifting a veil to an alternate realm. I strain the relation between digital and analog by forcing a union of materials, including lights, color, and motion. Although the images are ambiguous, the technology ﬁrmly places the work in the present moment. The visible cables and hardware create a nebulous ecosystem, where mark-making echoes my experiences of sensory overload.
Some of my images, including videoworks and screen printed plexiglass of distorted faces, are created with artiﬁcial intelligence. Although controversial, I am interested in AI’s ambivalence toward accuracy. The uncanny representations that result from AI algorithms cause me to question the notion of self in a digitized world. These warped portraits and pixelated motifs are channeled through my use of digital iconography, internet culture, and an apprehension of AI advancements to process the assimilation of technology in our everyday lives.
Cullen Houser is a multidisciplinary artist working in printmaking, neon lights, and digital media. Through his layered assemblages, the interactivity of various materials blur the lines between analog and digital spaces. Houser received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Sonoma State University with an emphasis in printmaking in 2018. Houser received the Tandem Press Gabriele S. Haberland Travel Award in 2022 and the UW-Madison Temkin Exhibition Award in 2023. Houser is currently a Master of Fine Arts candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Maidson where he works as a Project Assistant in the Tandem Press studio.
This exhibition, along with all Tandem Press exhibition programming, is made possible through support from the Anonymous Fund.