October 21st, 2015

James Hoff at VI, VII

James Hoff at VI, VII

Artist: James Hoff

Venue: VI, VII, Oslo

Exhibition Title: To Any Reader, Hide Awhile (Wait), the Curtain Remembers a Useless Landscape

Date: September 18 – October 25, 2015

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James Hoff at VI, VII

James Hoff at VI, VII

James Hoff at VI, VII

Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of VI, VII, Oslo

Press Release:

VI, VII is thrilled to present To Any Reader, Hide Awhile (Wait), the Curtain Remembers a Useless Landscape, American artist James Hoff’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.

Taking as a given that our digital availability and the presence of cellular activity has increased in recent decades the exhibition explores a theme of silence within the digital milieu of modern life while merging traditional formats with digital surfaces.

The exhibition is centered around a new series of copper etchings on fiberglass (a material form traditionally used to make circuit boards) that depict cellular-free landscapes captured by the artist in an area of the Adirondacks well-known locally and online as a “dead” zone for cellular communication.

The material employed here is notable for its use in producing electronics and in this case the artist has used a similar approach to render a work that one might take to create a circuit board, but has instead produced a landscape of digital silence.

Alongside these etchings are two USB dead drops containing a cellular ringtone created by the artist that is based on a watermark embedded in the earliest existing score for 4’33”, John Cage’s seminal work on silence. The watermark on Cage’s score depicts the logo of the paper manufacture in the form of a staff with seven tones, a combination of four notes G, F, D, and C. These notes, which are not part of the work, and are therefore not meant to be read or seen are peculiar since the score famously contains no notes, simply a series of vertical lines to note the duration of each of the work’s three movements. This watermark exists as a coup to Cage’s intentions for a composition of silence, and Hoff’s employment of the embedded notes as a ringtone allows them to function in our world in a parallel fashion.

A noted sound artist, Hoff has been working with computer viruses since 2013 to compose music and in 2014 PAN released ”Blaster” an album in which he utilized the Blaster virus to create broken dance music by infecting 808 beats. In the past, Hoff has also created several cellular ringtones using the ILOVEYOU computer virus to infect the stock tones that come pre-packaged with Apple and Android phones.

The Dead Drop, which dates back to the American Revolution, is an information sharing technique that became popular during the Cold War when spies would leave encrypted messages for download, by comrades at pre-determined locations. In recent years, the concept of the Dead Drop has been extended to the digital realm through the deployment of USB sticks into the natural world. Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to bring their computers to download this new ringtone directly from the gallery wall. Both mac and pc versions are available.

James Hoff (b. 1975 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA) lives and works in New York.

Solo exhibitions include a forthcoming presentation at Frieze Art Fair, London; I’m Already a Has-Been, VI, VII, Oslo and How Wheeling Feels When the Ground Walks Away, Or gallery, Vancouver. Two-person and group exhibitions include Eugen Gomringer &, Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld; Exploring Compositional Epistemologies A Series of Notional Synthesization on Topological Morphologies and Heuristic Gestures in the Realm of Sonic Language, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis; Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; Drop Shadow, Kunsthall Oslo; Bachelor Machines, Room East, New York; Parasitic Gaps, Team gallery, New York; Freaks and Geeks, Air de Paris, Paris; New Humans, Bureau, New York and Itself Not So, Lisa Cooley, New York.

B=R=I=C=K=I=N=G, the artist’s first solo institutional exhibition, will open at Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, Louisiana in 2015.

Publications by the artist include a forthcoming contribution to The Social Life of the Book; castillo/corrales; Everybody’s Pixelated, Printed Matter and Inventory Arousal, published by Bedford Press.

Readings, talks and performances by Hoff have taken place at Artist’s Space, New York, MoMA, New York, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Issue Project Room, New York and La Monnaie/De Munt, Brussels, Belgium.

Link: James Hoff at VI, VII

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