Sometimes unexpected combinations turn out to be the best of things. PNCA intermedia student, Chaz Giese, has been bringing together graphic design and sculpture and the results are pretty exciting.
There are a number of pros and cons involved in the digital age and how it affects the practice and promotion of art. Image circulation becomes easier, and if a work is created for the screen, your experience of it is what it was intended to be in the first place.
Many artists have been adapting to this medium, perhaps as an acceptance of our current context. A number of Giese’s works are exclusively meant for the screen. His ‘Totally Drunk’ posters for example, were created specifically for a Tumblr community.
But what about those works of art that excel in tactility? What about painting and sculpture? How can those artists survive the digital age? Again, at times Giese is also exclusively a sculpture artist (if such thing is possible today), with works like ‘Ruined Sculpture’, which seem to be purely about the aestheticism of form.
Giese has come up with the perfect solution to the digital “problem” in his unique fusion of graphic design and sculpture. By giving the digital sphere a physical presence, the artist is able to celebrate and criticize our condition. Furthermore his work functions as commentary through both medium as well as subject matter.
‘Phone as Sculpture’ is very simply executed yet complex in meaning. Giese explains this work as, “Viewing screen images as sculptures. Physicality and context are given to the images on screen.” The digital and physical here are completely dependent on each other. A phone is no longer just the object phone; it is a portal into the unlimited exchange of information enabled by the digital era. A phone is a key to infinity.
Giese’s brief of ‘Scrolls 4 Keeps’ is as follows, “the vibrant duality of global accessibility and institutional struggles to maintain secrecy.” Using the patterns and aesthetics of contemporary graphic design, while exploring the potential of physical objects, Giese creates a sculpture that is rich in symbolism and political commentary.
By combining the physical and the digital, Giese mediates our fears and our praises of the era we live in.
Words / Ana Gomides