Shawn Smith Vicious Venue*

November 20, 2009 – January 9, 2010 Project Space Gallery

Artist Statement

“My work explores the depiction of nature through digital technology and comments on the effects of technology on our perception of the world. In my recent work, I have been particularly interested in birds of prey as a source of conceptual inspiration and analogy. I am fascinated by vultures and the visceral way most people react to them. Lately, I’ve been asking myself the question: What would a digital vulture eat if it was somehow trapped inside this reality?

Vicious Venue is a sculptural installation consisting of a group of life-size pixelated vultures devouring an analog office full of obsolete technologies (like a typewriter, rolodex, and a rotary phone). The viewer becomes an intruder into the space as if they are stumbling into the middle of the ongoing carnage as the vultures pick the office’s carcass clean.

In my current work, I have been trying to highlight the collision of the digital world and the real world by creating pixelated sculptures interacting with found objects. This project allows me to push the scale and scope of my current work by creating an installation that creates a narrative and brings these objects to life.

*The title refers to the double meaning of “venue” as both a place and a group of vultures.”