I'm Not Trying to Change Anything, I'm Just Changing:

AppleButter Animated & Sonnenzimmer


Public Works Gallery, Chicago, IL, Septebmer 28 – November 3, 2019

This eclectic exhibition continues our exploration of humanity’s “graphic impulse,” this time through the lens of touch. Touch is exemplified by two factors, pressure and surface quality, and unlike our other senses, is only fully experienced through movement. Note the difference between placing your finger on the surface of a rough rock, or moving your finger across it. Movement is the music of touch. In this respect, we were excited to move the ideas of this exhibition across two iterations. Originally conceptualized as a solo exhibition at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, we were grateful that I'm Not Trying to Change Anything, I'm Just Changing, took on a second life at Chicago's Public Works Gallery as a collaborative exhibition with the creative powerhouse, AppleButter Animated (Megan Jedrysiak & Jackson Ammenheuser). Combining their recent explorations with robot-aided painting and their longtime engagement with experimental animation, this collaboration yielded further movement to the pressure we'd begun placing on the subject matter, and expanded the conceptual undertones of the exhibit to ideas of "playbor" and agency in a changing media and social landscape. In addition to the textile works shown in Saugatuck, we created a series of hybrid prints called Weather Loves You for the Chicago iteration. In keeping with our ongoing publication program, we've published books for each iteration of the exhibit, Apple Clasp (Saugatuck Center for the Arts) and I'm Not Trying to Change Anything, I'm Just Changing (Public Works Gallery). Each publication feature a poetic essay pontificating an imageless future, set against original music. 

Available Works:

Publication: I'm Not Trying to Change Anything, I'm Just Changing Book + LP
Publication: Apple Clasp  Book + Cassette 

Print: Kinesics Through Layer Ping Pong 

Print: I'm Working, I’m Walking, I’m Seeing

Print: Tidal Contents

Print: Surface Resolution Center

Textiles: Stroll, Step, Idle, Maybe Sit With Yellow


Photos by Ben Speckman


Surface Resolution Center by Sonnenzimmer 


Stroll & Idle Again by Sonnenzimmer (left), Head Swipe to Spin Faster by AppleButter Animated (right)


Elongated Haptic by Sonnenzimmer 


At Thumb Lengths by AppleButter Animated (left), Kinesics Through Layer Ping Pong by AppleButter Animated & Sonnenzimmer (right)


Tidal Contents by Sonnenzimmer (left), Maybe Sit With Yellow & Image as Afterthought by Sonnenzimmer (right)


Hello From Hammerspace by Sonnenzimmer


Bare Bells by Sonnenzimmer (left), Iʼm Working, Iʼm Walking, Iʼm Seeing by Sonnenzimmer (right)


p_a_i_r (Painting Audience Instructed Robot) by AppleButter Animated

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

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.