Artist Statement - Desert (Loss) Series
Desert (Loss) investigates the suspension between loss and distance, through the language of a fractured desert. These remixed landscapes imply the weirdness of the West; vastness and density become memories of memory, mutations of a white-hot encounter. Historian Simon Schama says “landscape is a work of the mind. Its scenery is built up as much from strata of memory as from layers of rock,” just as our own stories and memories are constructed of layered moments.
My strata are flattened, graphic layers, which suggest the way recollection develops a fictional sheen, with pinpoints of lucid detail; certain moments burn and remain. The play between flatness and depth asks what it means to inhabit the space between memory and experience, where fleeting exchanges flare and dissolve. My compressed imagery is remixed, just as we shuffle memories like tracks on a playlist—moments fade and recur. Some details get replayed.
In processing a personal sense of dislocation and loss, I am drawn to the landscape of media and television—complex spaces I’ve inhabited in life and through the ambiguity of fact-fiction. Like memory, TV offers a dual sense of place, a spark of the ‘here’ and ‘elsewhere.’ Imagery in Desert (Loss) remixes my own media-infused artwork, drawing on television, personal photographs and even Google Street View to form a composite desert; a California-New Mexico-Hollywood of past and present.
A native of Southern California, Ren Adams has been working in the visual arts for more than 20 years, with an emphasis on painting and printmaking. Her work combines traditional and emerging techniques in printmaking, painting and digital art with an insatiable desire to document the interconnection of all things.
General Artist Statement
We live in an age of information—a socio-cultural climate that straddles the material and immaterial, our daily interactions taking place across physical and theoretical environments. Space and time collapse in the face of this digitally-driven landscape, redefined by delivery and access. As we engage this data cascade, theorist Henry Jenkins claims “[we] construct our own personal mythology from bits and fragments of information extracted from the media flow… transformed into resources through which we make sense of our everyday lives.” This pronounced hypertextuality allows for connectivity, remix and recombination previously inconceivable in visual art (and culture).
My primary body of work investigates our performance as convergence-hunters within this data cascade. Using a visual vocabulary to address information as matter, the connectivity of networks (biological, social, spatial) and the deep virtual space where it all takes shape, I bend surfaces and mix disciplines. There are endless networks within networks—systems of matter, information and social interaction spiraling, remixing, inviting deep exploration. I aim for a relativity of past and present, matter and awareness: pieces become field notes for a digital, personally mythological, universe.
Artist Statement – The Archaeology of Being Series (2012 – Spring, 2013)
The Archaeology of Being explores the nature of emergence—depicting the way being materializes from non-being (literally and metaphorically) through paint, print, and digital techniques. Drawing from philosophy, science and visual art, I attempt to unpack the point at which something takes form, in conversation with the semiotics of anthropology and Taoism. By carefully arranging visual components in layers, each piece offers a glimpse into the ethereal connection between form and the spark which initiates and combines. Through the layers themselves, I open dialogue with the nature of interconnection, analyzing the originating space where all substance takes root.
Visual elements in the show can be viewed in their entirety, yet allow the viewer to peel back individual moments, offering a virtual archaeological dig of the combination and recombination of elements. As scholar Robert Wenger says, “Archaeological excavators and visual artists are involved in a process of image formation. They not only document and replicate the appearance of things, but also make ideas, concepts, and experiences visible.” Moving beyond mimetic representation, the esoteric becomes visible within a new visual vocabulary.
b. 1974 in Lancaster, California
Currently lives and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico
A native of Southern California, Ren Adams takes an interdisciplinary approach to visual art, working across painting, printmaking, audio, video, digital art and new media. Adams earned an MFA in Visual Arts from Lesley University College of Art and Design and has a BFA in Studio Art (printmaking) from the University of New Mexico. Adams has participated in a number of national and international exhibitions and has also published poetry, articles, short stories and images, cross-platform. Adams is a UC Berkeley Alumni Scholar, recently received a merit award from the Art Institute of Boston and completed an internship at Tamarind Institute for Fine Art Lithography.
Adams’ current body of work investigates the nature of landscape as a site of social, regional and cultural activation—favoring ambiguous gravity and instability mediated through the scripted fantasy of Cold War television.
Previous bodies of work have grappled with the emergence of matter from non-matter, being from non-being, and its relationship to Eastern philosophy, physics and database theory.
Adams currently teaches arts and humanities courses through the University of New Mexico and through New Grounds Print Workshop & Gallery and is active in the production of exhibitions and print exchanges.