Still from American Sitcom (2014)
A *candy factory project
September 20 – December 5, 2014
Lenzner Family Art Gallery
American Sitcom is a new site-specific work by Takuji Kogo and Mike Bode of Candy Factory made for Pitzer College Art Galleries. A multi-channel video installation, American Sitcom uses text animations of transcriptions of monologues taken from online V-loggers’ videos that have been uploaded to YouTube. The artists’ subjects cover such disparate ground as divorce experiences, porn addiction and commentaries from people wanting to join the Air Force. These text animations have been overlaid onto animated backgrounds which have been adapted from online sources such as GIF animations, desktop designs, forum avatars, furry toys and cartoons, many of which carry references to pop art, wallpaper designs, and various forms of popular culture. The resulting work is both visually stunning and at the same time disarmingly familiar. American Sitcom asks the audience to consider how we engage with cyber culture, specifically, what kinds of online environments do we inhabit? Who are we talking to when we upload a testimonial and, what kind of visual languages do we use?
Mining the Internet for visual and domestic content, Kogo and Bode have meticulously animated transcriptions of voices—word for word—using flash-based software. Although American Sitcom employs “real” peoples’ monologues it is not a documentary work, instead it uses and re-uses everyday online media as material. American Sitcom is presented as a multi-channel installation in the gallery space and uploaded to YouTube and distributed online.
About the Artists
Japan-based artist Takuji Kogo is the organizer of Candy Factory Projects. He has produced a large body of work both as a solo artist and in various collaborations. His ongoing solo project NON_SITES is a series of photo-sculptures, digital kaleidoscopes made by looped and mirrored sequence shots taken from moments of standardized everyday life environments. He has presented his work at MediaScope-MOMA/The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Media City Seoul, South Korea; Singapore Art Museum; MAAP Multimedia Art Asian Pacific, Beijing; Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis; Yokohama Triennale, Japan; Nam June Paik Art Centre, Seoul, South Korea; and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. Takuji Kogo is the director of the Art Institute Kitakyushu, which organizes the Kitakyushu Biennial, and lives in Fukuoka, Japan.
Mike Bode is a visual artist and researcher based in Sweden. He is presently working on a research project Re-configuring actuality, which is an enquiry into the construction and configuration of material taken from online media. He is also developing a discursive platform in Stockholm with the publisher Max Valentin called PLASMODIA, which organizes talks, discussions, presentations and exhibitions with the aim of critically exploring new media and the use of new technologies and their contextualization in documentary art practice. He received a PhD at the University of Gothenburg in 2008 and has presented and exhibited work at Kunst Werke in Berlin; The Rooseum in Malmö; The Center of Contemporary Art in Vilnius, Lithuania; The Nobel Museum in Stockholm; Secession in Vienna and the Kitakyushu Biennial in Japan. He has been a member of *candy factory projects since 2001. Mike Bode is based in Stockholm.
Saturday, September 20, 2-4 p.m.
Artist lecture in conjunction with the exhibition and Pitzer College’s Munroe Center for Social Inquiry (MCSI) event:
Tuesday, September 16, 4 p.m.
Kallick Gallery, West Hall
Artists Takuji Kogo and Mike Bode will discuss their works on this year’s MCSI lecture series, themed: “Virus: Mindless, Efficient and without Morals.”
All events are free and open to the public.