Exhibits

 

 

 

Jeona Zoleta

3D Print My Karma

Post

Aug 29 - Sep 5

3D Print my Karma

 

2015; site-specific

 

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How does one write about Jeona Zoleta’s art or whatever it is that she comes up with in her exhibits? Indescribable at the very least, or incoherent as a tumble of words that read out like a list by which she titles her exhibits: Portrait of The Artist As A Unicorn USB Hard Drive...

 

Read the complete statement

Jeona Zoleta : Of Smoke and Mirrors, Fog and Glitters, Depth Perception in IRL codes, For Fish and Girls, and Everything in Between.


How does one write about Jeona Zoleta’s art or whatever it is that she comes up with in her exhibits? Indescribable at the very least, or incoherent as a tumble of words that read out like a list by which she titles her exhibits: Portrait of The Artist As A Unicorn USB Hard Drive // Portrait of The Artist As A Sparkly Unicorn – Butt Plug com Flash Hard Drive With Gemstones, Fur and Ruffles Made With Glory Poop Face Powder Exfoliated To The Moonbeams or My 3D Printed  *Rainbowmagicsparkle* Soul <3 <3 <3 – and to which she has shortened to 3D Printing My Karma.


Upon being asked what she planned to do for the Pablo X Anniversary show, she said she wanted to do something that has “cyber quality”, something she’s been aiming as well to bestow upon her other exhibits/projects prior to this. Her persistent hankering or quest for that “cyber quality” has turned into an obsession, for the ineffable, indefinable, borderless realm of the wide and deep frontiers of the internet.


What does it mean then for something to have “cyber quality” ?


Her past exhibits, enumerated as such : Divine Street Trash at Post in 2014; her participation in the all-girls exhibit Hairy Things at Pablo in 2013; Destroy 3000 Years of Culture, a show she curated on internet-based art at Post in 2014; Cyber Specie 143 at West Gallery in early 2015; her installation for the 2015 CCP 13 Artist Awards exhibit – all these, including what she did for the Pablo X Anniversary show are immersive environments that are multi-layered, using a lot of projections and video images, fabric, glitters, neon lights, with scraps of paintings and drawings of pre-pubescent girls in provocative poses but belied by their saucer-eyed manga faces, and fake sex ads tacked on slovenly on walls, lying on the floor were odd sorts of objects such as dolls, dildos, toys, mirrors, stuffed animals, shiny paper, kitschy wall paper, punctuated by shocks of pinks, violets, and indigos.


The usual knee jerk reaction to all these would be : “What sort of mess is this?”, but still a magical one as being inside a snow globe that’s constantly tumbling about, smoke and mirrors, a plethora of selfie videos, an aquarium tower. It’s a babel of visuals, simulation overload, a PC screen with all tabs open, a jumble of files hovering all over a computer monitor – or the ultimate nightmare for the OCD.


Cyber comes from the Greek word cybernetic which originally means “skilled in steering or governing”, or to rather control something remotely. However this had been a common prefix to any terms related to computing. The use of such term gained further currency with the release of William Gibson’s novel the Neuromancer, which has spawned numerous studies, theories on the implication of cyberculture on a civilization increasingly dependent on technology. Fast forward to 2015, to the era of millennials who had been reared in such a world, and where Jeona is a quintessential by-product of such.


Born sometime in the late 1980s, these millennials grew up tech savvy early on (most especially for urban dwellers)with gadgets, hand-held devices, digital geegaws as omniscient extensions of their anatomy, constantly looking at the world through digital camera lens, LED screens, or interfaces, communicating mostly in pictures, with an insatiable hunger to document everything, to take pictures of everything, adding further to the glut of visual data as if the world can never have enough of these.


As the world rolls into its inevitable end times, the need or hunger to immortalize ones image/self becomes more rapacious. Yet this leans to a gluttonous self-consciousness, a very uninhibited practice of vain-glorification. Or is it because, this generation, in its infantile stage, dwells still in that mirror stage which Lacan posits as the stage or process where the infant starts to recognize itself, its own image in a mirror – known as the specular image, and from which results in the formation of the Ego. Further, from Tamise Van Pelt’s analysis of Lacan’s The Other Side of Desire :


This moment allows the child to recognize the distinction between the self and the ‘other ‘ as the child is able to see themself the way others see them. This mirror stage results in the first recognition of a ‘lack’….as our identity is instantly fractured because the external image that we must learn to identify with is so different from the chaos occurring inside our brains. We transcend from the ‘I’ that speaks to the ‘I’ that is spoken about. This duality of what we think we are and the ‘idealized image’ that other people see when they look at us leads to a feeling of alienation because we feel the need to live up to this ‘idealised image’. ”


But what is an idealized self in the virtual world and through the looking glass of the social media?  Van Pelt goes on further to define it as a mere fragment of one’s whole identity – an image that functions as both “a literal image and an idealized representation of the self which helps one’s consciousness come to terms with reality.”


These concepts resonate even more for girls/women/ feminist/gender/identity politics, giving rise to teen-age tumblr aestethics, as one of the sub-outcomes of post-internet art.


In an article from Hypeallergic written by Alicia Eler and Kate Durbin, one of the leading proponents of post internet art and teen tumblr girl aestethics, defines it as :


The teen-girl Tumblr aesthetic differentiates itself from the prevalent nostalgia-induced reimagining of the archetypal lusty teenage dream. Rip-offs of that aesthetic are familiar staples of bubble-gum-pop culture. They hijack the notion of adolescence, attempting to reinstall it into adults who have already experienced it — the heightened emotions, the epic breakups, the popularity contests, the self-actualizing, the loss of virginity, the sugar-sweet feeling of falling in love again for the first time. American pop culture idealizes the adolescent experience, recreating it through nostalgia, hypersexualized female bodies and fleeting, sugary feelings.”


It’s like stepping into a teen-ager’s pajama party, a teenager’s boudoir stuck between snuggling stuffed animals as surrogates for their first pangs of lust, love, budding sexuality, and crashing dejection and rejection.  A viewer’s reaction to Jeona’s installation : “It’s like being inside the mind of a vindictive teen-ager.”


However by using their (tumblr users, these artists)bodies as “canvases upon which they interface with the world, an audience with a gaze that is constantly watching and appraising”, or rather with such use, disembodying them from the usual conventions of the ideal, allows them greater freedom to engage and disengage,  to re-idealize their bodies to fit to channels, to appropriate them to whatever form and context they deem it fit, as Alice stepping through the looking glass, bending and stretching her way to holes and doors, these artists/users rather cut and paste and Photoshop and filter and edits and animates them into giffs, then posts them as scrapbook entries, as axiomatic memes, with the virtual world as their oyster, the internet as an extension of their bedroom mirror.


But in turning the internet as a viable alternative platform beyond the rigid four-walls of a white cube gallery, any conventions, thereafter of what is art, not art, what is beauty, what is profound, not profound, what is truth, not truth, what is authentic, what is original, had become irrelevant or rather, superfluous.  Looking through this virtual mirror, their inquiry is rather a call for solidarity preening and affirmation of their acute idiosyncracies :  “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the craziest, weirdest, bitch of them all?”


But for all this given permissibility, how much of this empowers or rather distorts so-called gender empowerment ?  Or all these mere “spectacle as capital accumulated to the point where it becomes image.” ? (Guy De Bord )


If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. (William Blake)


In the parallel hyper-reality of internet, this may be possible, or is possible.  Jeona’s mad tea party boudoir installation is but a toke of that Reddit hole.


3D Print my Karma

 

2015; site-specific

 

view image

3D Print my Karma

 

2015; site-specific

 

view image

3D Print my Karma

 

2015; site-specific

 

view image

3D Print my Karma

 

2015; site-specific

 

view image

3D Print my Karma

 

2015; site-specific

 

view image

3D Print my Karma

 

2015; site-specific

 

view image

3D Print my Karma

 

2015; site specific

 

view image

3D Print my Karma

 

2015; site specific

 

view image

3D Print my Karma

 

2015; site specific

 

view image

3D Print my Karma

 

2015; site specific

 

view image

3D Print my Karma

 

2015; site specific

 

view image

3D Print my Karma

 

2015; site specific

 

view image

3D Print my Karma

 

2015; site specific

 

view image

3D Print my Karma

 

2015; site specific

 

view image

3D Print my Karma

 

2015; site specific

 

view image