"Get out of your house Sam, we love you but this negativity is good for nobody I can see you with that down slanted look sitting in your chair jaw turned rocking back and forth, pissed."
icky—bones: One thing I love about mantids- They’re essentially super mini house cats. They like to clean their lil feet and just sit on the tip of your finger. My girl is really very meek, and its funny how expressive they can be.
For most, the trip to the Still House is a lengthy one, poetically punctuated at the end of Brooklyn’s Van Brunt Street by a view of the Statue of Liberty standing in the Hudson River. Upon congratulating yourself for completing an hour-long MTA commute, one wonders how exponentially more relieved America’s immigrants were upon seeing that 19th century landmark after boating across an infinite expanse of water for weeks on end. Could our great-great-great-grandparents have imagined the industrialized country they’d build and the habits of consumption and production they’d pioneer would become so powerful, so globally ubiquitous that future residents would be returned to that same infinite aquatic expanse? We are potentially the first generation of people to begin making down payments on a hellacious environmental check that has long been deferred. Historically we owe the situation we are in to a false sense of permanence about our economies, lifestyles, and even our species itself. There is a pervasive sense of temporality in our present moment, though. We comment “you only live once” on videos of viral celebrities that disappear as quickly as they emerge, using cell phones that are obsolete within the year we purchase them. Through one lens, our digital lives are training us to care less about permanence, to focus our attention on the fleeting beauty of connectivity. But it’s hard to live in the moment, and the devices that could teach us how to do just that more often than not separate us from the reality we seek through them. There is a togetherness in the approaching catastrophe, one that threatens to level all political and religious difference as surely as it threatens to nullify the entirety of land space and the national distinctions that geography provides. It is perhaps more difficult to acknowledge the uniformity of the fate we march towards than the imminent catastrophe itself; to change is to admit defeat. Still today, when it rains, the waves crash freely into rocks feet away from Fairway Marketplace, tickling organic paninis on the unprotected patio eating area with a reminder the destruction they recently wrought. We imagine a time (perhaps now?) when Jogging will no longer need to labor over combining food items in irreverent ways to make sculptures, a time when the Atlantic Ocean will carry goods from Fairway up to the fourth floor, into the Still House, and create our work for us. Until then, we anticipate that impermanence in the art we create. Today’s lifeguards will be tomorrow’s installation photographers.
Introduction to Jogging
Jogging is a context-driven art project consisting of 15 team members based in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Oslo. Founded by Brad Troemel and Lauren Christiansen in 2009, Jogging started in response to the attention economy, lamenting the way laborious, long term artworks were drowned in the deluge of information flowing through the social media networks. A photograph of an artwork that required months of labor is given the same gravity as a photograph of a high school friend’s lunch decision, leading the artists to strategize more effective ways of creating and dispersing art in light of their mediated environment.
Troemel and Christiansen used discarded objects and installation materials left over from the exhibitions they hosted at their Chicago apartment gallery, the now closed Scott Projects (2008 - 2009). Materials would be found, sculpted as new artworks, photographed as installation images in the gallery, posted to Tumblr, and then physically discarded, leaving only the digital image behind to be shared and reused online. Jogging’s title refers to the speed the two artists produced artworks with, running through themes in content and media with an indifference to immediate cohesion, preferring to allow patterns in meaning to become evident to themselves and their audience over time.
Seeing the way their sculptures-turned-Tumblr posts essentially functioned as images, the artists reached a turning point in late 2009 when they would occasionally cut out the middleman (physical objects) and proceed to digitally composite the Google Image Searched products, textures, and scenes together, titling the resultant works as sculptures, paintings, installations, and all else. These digitally altered images were then posted on Tumblr alongside “straight” installation images, as well as digitally edited installation images of objects the artists physically constructed. Rather than contextualizing the discrepancies between textual descriptions and visualized realities as an extension of the Pictures Generation’s long-running attack on the notion of photography as an indexical medium, Jogging instead sought to position these discrepancies as an extension of artists’ autonomy to render work more freely in a mediated environment where the ubiquity and malleability of digital images offered an alternative to the material and monetary limitations of strictly physical works.
After a brief hiatus in 2011, Jogging energetically returned in 2012 with an expanded team of like-minded artists. These core members include the project’s founders as well as Andreas Banderas, Andreas Ervik, Aaron Graham, Artie Vierkant, Andrew Christopher Green, Evan Drolet Cook, Haley Mellin, Jesse Stecklow, Joshua Citarella, Justin Kemp, Masood Kamandy, Rachael Milton, and Spencer Longo. With the added help, Jogging’s increased post rate attracted the attention of a widespread audience beyond the art world, propelling the project to the top 1% of Tumblrs in terms of followers. Soon after, Jogging started accepting moderated submissions from anyone interested in participating. Hundreds of people have since submitted work to the project, working from and evolving the visual trends set forward by members.
The context-specific approach Jogging started with through the use of Tumblr as means of making art in the attention economy has now expanded into a variety of other contexts –including stock photography, books, outsourced material production– and continues through this exhibition at the Still House.