A Coup d’Espace project curated by Steven H. Silberg and Neil C. Jones

Dates: October 12 – November 9, 2012

Location: 2023 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Wash, DC

Curated by: Steven H. Silberg and Neil C. Jones

Participating artists: Jesse Morgan Barnett, Scott Blake, Patterson Clark, Jarrett Davis, Samantha DiRosa, Gary Duehr, Mark Geil, Julee Holcomb, Ryan Hoover, Miyakawa, Michele Montalbano, Matteo Pasin, Jessica Rowshandel, Sarah Sachs, Ali Seley, s/n coalition, Eric Souther, and Erika Stearly.

Opening Reception: October 12, 6:00-8:00pm

Palimpsest is a Coup d’Espace project curated by Steven H. Silberg and Neil C. Jones. which explores the constant layering of information in contemporary society and the impact technological advancements have on the ways we represent and receive information.

As digital texts—documents, photographs, video—become ubiquitous, we adapt to new ways of reading, adjusting to the layers of information these digital texts contain. In recent years, the QR code has become a common way of relaying additional information, allowing users with the correct technology to access additional data in everything from advertisements and museum exhibitions to business cards and printed books. But what if the QR code became the contemporary representation of information, displacing the original information? It wouldn’t be the first time that newer “text” has superseded the old. Throughout the history of the written word, parchments and vellum have been scraped clean of their original text and reused. Over time, that original text (the scriptio inferior) resurfaces through natural means or scientific research. An immediate relationship between the original text and new text is constructed through their juxtaposition.

Palimpsest alters the experience of viewing individual works of art by forcing viewers to experience the works through the mediation of this new technology. Artwork selected for the exhibition has been documented before being whitewashed or otherwise obliterated. A QR code, which links to the original documentation of the artwork, has been placed on the surface of each individual piece. While the individual works already address the layering of information, the very act of viewing the exhibition will force viewers to experience the layering and mediation the works address. Including work in a range of media—painting, photography, video, and sound—Palimpsest asks what these new methods of representing information mean for artists and their work.

Steven H. Silberg is an image-influenced, pixel-based cross media artist with a background ranging from photography to book conservation. Working in print, video, and interactive installation, he engages new media as a literalist. For him, the pixel and structure of the digital image is as important as the composition and content. Created in Baltimore, his work has been enjoyed regionally, at venues including Baltimore’s Artscape, the University of Maryland, and the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts; nationally, at the University of Texas, Dallas, Missouri State University in Springfield, MO, and Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, CA; and internationally at the Third Beijing International New Media Arts Exhibition and Symposium. He was selected as the Winner of The Washington Post’s 2010 Real Art DC competition and has been selected as a semi-finalist for the 2012 Trawick Prize. Silberg received his MFA from MICA in 2004 and his BFA from the University of Delaware in 1997. He is a Lecturer in Foundations, concentrating in Photography and Video, at UMBC.

Neil C. Jones is a photographer and faculty member at the Maryland Institute College of Art and Anne Arundel Community College. His work has been exhibited nationally in Atlanta, GA, Baltimore, MD, New York, NY, and Washington, DC, and internationally in Heidelberg, Germany, and Lacoste, France. He holds an MFA in Photographic and Electronic Media from the Maryland Institute College of Art , an MA in Digital Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design and a BA in English Literature from the University of Delaware. In 2012, he was awarded an Individual Artist Award for Photography by the Maryland State Arts Council.

Coup d’Espace is WPA’s member-generated programming series. By inviting member artists and curators to plan installations, exhibitions, and events in its office project space, WPA provides a venue for unusual collaborations, exploration of new concepts, and the production of new and experimental work. Coup d’Espace allows artists and curators to utilize the WPA office as a laboratory or workshop space, to introduce new and in-process projects and present challenging ideas.


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