Screen Time at TSCA Tokyo

Rafaël Rozendaal – Screen Time
26 November – 24 December, 2022
Takuro Someya Contemporary Art

Photos by Shu Nakagawa

Screen Time comprises two ongoing series of works: Into Time, a series of lenticular paintings, and Abstract Browsing, a series of jacquard tapestries.

As hinted by the title of this exhibition, both Into Time and Abstract Browsing are explorations into the nature of time in its various forms.

Rozendaal has remarked in interviews and writings that the “landscapes” we most often encounter in our contemporary society are seen through the “window” of a screen on our electronic devices rather than an actual window in space. In the context of the history of humans and landscapes, we have shifted from the time when people looked out into the world through physical windows to the time when families gathered around the television set to watch moving images. And now, in this present moment, we have grown accustomed to spending our time on the individual screens of our personal devices, consuming our favorite content when and where we please. If one were to name these different periods on the basis of their visual cultures, perhaps “screen time” would be a fitting one for this most recent iteration. As the title of this exhibition, Screen Time evokes the expanse of time in which the continuum of visual culture is developing.

For artists attempting to face the questions posed by our contemporary aesthetics, Rozendaal has long been a pioneering figure. Abstract Browsing is a series of jacquard tapestries based on images of abstracted websites, which are created by “abstract browsing.net,” a browser plug-in developed by the artist in 2014. The tool, available for free on Google Chrome, abstracts all information present on a webpage into geometric units of bright colors. Rozendaal runs this program daily on well-known websites ranging from newspapers to real estate listings, generating thousands of images. From those, he selects compositions that appear striking or unusual in some way to create as paintings through the medium of jacquard weaving. The jacquard loom is an early prototype of the computer; as such, the textile it produces can be understood as both a digital image and a mechanically produced material. With this choice of medium, Rozendaal draws out the connection between digital images and traditional manufacturing techniques to highlight that, far from being a new media, the “digital” has a long history.

The new tapestries presented in this exhibition are all the same width but vary in height, with some of the tallest approaching three meters. Their exaggerated dimensions recall the vertical format of scrolling through the web on our phones. In this way, these works emphasize the shared verticality of web browsers and the weaving process, in which the fabric takes shape one row at a time. In recent years, however, it has also become possible to take screenshots of entire web pages. Unlike the experience of scrolling and taking in text and information slowly, the screenshot transforms the website into an image that can be seen in its entirety in a much shorter span of time. This is also in stark contrast to the slow unfolding of time that is inherent to the process of creating a tapestry. In these ways, the various textures of time that exist within the screen as a tapestry and among the many other screens that make up our daily lives are interwoven into the tapestries presented here.

Into Time is a series of lenticular paintings that departs from the traditional concept of painting in that they cannot be experienced instantaneously but must be seen over a duration of time. Some of the works in this series are based on the geometric patterns and color gradations generated through Rozendaal’s website works, intotime.us, intotime.com, and intotime.org.

Rozendaal’s lenticular paintings contain time within them, and as such, it is only by moving our bodies around these works that we can experience them in their entirety. The surface of a lenticular painting functions similarly to that of a screen such as an RGB monitor or an image cast by a projector. But whereas monitors and projectors are media that display images standing in for physical “landscapes” as they change to and fro, the nature of the lenticular medium is such that it becomes the shifting image itself. And just as an actual landscape contains an infinity of views that depend on the position of the viewer, so too does the lenticular. The new lenticular paintings presented in Screen Time reflect the ongoing development of Rozendaal’s sense of colors and their combinations.

Both the jacquard tapestry and the lenticular print are materials with long histories. By selecting them as his media, Rozendaal draws our attention to the largely unknown connection between such traditional techniques and the digital devices and technologies with which he makes images, enabling us to understand these seemingly disjointed elements as points along the continuum of our visual culture. This exhibition, and Rozendaal’s artistic practice as a whole, hints at the diversity of time in its many forms. The expanded scale of Rozendaal’s newest work draws us into a new moment following the many disruptions brought about by the pandemic as well as the rise of NFTs, allowing us again to enjoy the experience of standing before a physical work and letting the time pass us by.

 

RR haiku 284

trying

not to think

about money

 

RR haiku 283

this one?

that one?

no the other one

 

RR haiku 282

no more problems

not one

ever again

 

Intersections

Intersections NFT collection now open

 

Cabinets

Cabinets NFT series
generative – onchain – indie

 

Polychrome Music

Polychrome Music

A generative project by Rafaël Rozendaal and Danny Wolfers (Legowelt)

Wednesday, August 24, 1PM EST on Artblocks

Legowelt: For Polychrome Music I designed a generative music system that plays an infinite composition on 3 different audio channels, each with their own synthesizer. These randomly generate simple musical timbres inspired by early computer sound chips. The music itself is generated by randomly selecting 3 patterns out of a pool of 180. These patterns, which are little 8-bar music pieces, were written in the same C# Dorian scale so they always fit together. This is a pleasant sounding minor and colorful scale that I believe fits the general vibe of Rafaël’s work. Composition wise, channel 1 plays the bassline and channels 2 and 3 the melody, countermelody, arpeggios and harmonies. The system changes the patterns each time they are played, reversing, speeding up or slowing down the pattern or changing the synthesizer channel they are played on. In essence the system infinitely randomly remixes the source melodies to create ever new surprising pieces that harmonize with the colorful compositions.

 

Doors

 

Abstract Browsing 22 01 series

 

Homage collection

Brand new custom NFT project.

 

81 Horizons

81 Horizons is a collection of 81 fully on-chain landscapes. Each work consists of a unique combination of two colored rectangles, hand picked by the artist. Released by Upstream Gallery, smart contract programming by Alberto Granzotto, produced by left gallery.

 

Mechanical Paintings

Mechanical Paintings at Upstream Gallery
October 30 – December 18, 2021
photos by Gert-Jan van Rooij

 

Permanent Distraction

Permanent Distraction
Site Gallery Sheffield
September 23 – December 23, 2021
Photos by Jules Lister

 

Silence, a public art project in Canada

Silence is a public artwork I created for PXL Gallery, Canada’s largest lowres art installation. Only 28 x 88 giant pixels. Photos by Gus Sarino.

 

RR haiku 281

too late to be early

too early

to be late

 

RR haiku 280

what they want

what you want

what we want

 

RR haiku 279

life

is much scarier

than death

 

RR haiku 278

everyone is great

everything is wonderful

joy forever

 

RR haiku 277

i am typing

a few words

on my phone

 

Abstract Browsing 20 06