I'm Not Trying to Change Anything, I'm Just Changing
Saugatuck Center for the Arts, Saugatuck, MI, March 8 – May 24, 2019, Curated by Tori Pelz
This eclectic exhibition continues our exploration of humanity’s “graphic impulse”, this time through the lens of touch. For the first time in an exhibition setting, we've encouraged direct physical interaction from gallery visitors for several of the pieces. In continuing with our ongoing publishing practice, we've produced a publication, I'm Not Trying to Change Anything, I'm Just Changing: Apple Clasp, to elaborate on the conceptual cues considered when producing the work. The publication features a poetic essay pontificating an imageless future, set against a morphing flip book illustration and a cassette tape loop featuring an ambient soundtrack.
From the curator... What happens to perception when our visual worlds become increasingly virtual? How does physical touch affect how we navigate digital worlds- and vice versa? In an era when our fleeting moments bear timestamps, conscious curation replaces recollection, and our memories live in the cloud, how do we reclaim our physical connection to place, to each other, to the present moment, while navigating this shifting landscape? These are some of the questions raised by Sonnenzimmer’s latest exhibit, I’m Not Trying to Change Anything, I’m Just Changing. Sonnenzimmer... first made a name for themselves through their innovative approach to poster-making, a medium that continues to inform their process. Capitalizing on the democratic, D-I-Y spirit of the poster while pushing past its transactional associations, they create new visual worlds that invite us to challenge notions of graphics as static products or symbols. I’m Not Trying to Change Anything, I’m Just Changing offers an alternative narrative to binary ways of thinking about virtual vs. physical; analog vs. digital. Rather, these works reveal existing connections between physical touch and graphic image, object and sound- connections that provide the foundation for today’s digital interfaces. Here, Sonnenzimmer presents graphics as shape-shifting surfaces to be deconstructed and reconstructed, collapsed and inflated, reduced and amplified. In a humorous series of touch-triggered gestures, images become objects, and objects emit sound waves. Prints pose as paintings, and indirect marks mimic the hand-drawn. Still, through all the layers, the playful presence of the hand is undeniable. This physical presence reminds us that we each have a stake in navigating this new virtual world. Here, we are presented with navigational tools of improvisation, play, and fluency. Embracing the fluidity of graphics is key to maintaining creative agency amidst a changing visual world. Only then do we begin to see graphics as active surfaces that reverberate with possibility.