LOTTE ROSE KJÆR SKAU
MEDALS AND POISE, ENERGY AND PRAISE
2 JUNE – 30 JULY 2017
Digital still lifes; homemade projector stands; peculiar, hypnotic dances filmed on webcams; Lotte’s work takes place in an environment in which digital spaces process our bodies, senses, memories and emotions as a simulation of physical space. Medals and Poise, Energy and Praise, her first solo exhibition in London since winning the Helle & Arent Jacobsen Artists award, juxtaposes new digital paintings with a series of sculptural installations that present restrained gestures within erased or degraded virtual environments. This new work reconstructs objects relating to the title of the show. Abstractions of trophees serving as fulcrums surrounded by fuel filled objects and materials with contained energy. It is done in a manner that investigates and elaborates on how physical presence blends with digital aesthetics.
Lotte takes her inspiration from a variety of sources including music culture, technology and cybernetics, ritual gestures and cultural tradition mediated by software. This current series responds to her interest in how we imitate physical structures in the digital world, whether using ‘folders’ and ‘desktops’ to organise data or in the coding of software emulating languages of engineering. She refers to her work as a “somewhat scattered use of matter,” with its enigmatic content generated by a curiosity in coded behaviours and digital communication as well as a relationship to her work as a sound artist and musician. This approach leads to her handling of immaterial visual artefacts and languages of software and cyberspace both with an extraordinary pragmatism and directness, yet in a manner that appears as if the works are in process of disappearing entirely into a digital future.
Characterising data streams as “streams of digital emotions”, Lotte doesn’t avoid crucial questions about the impact of technology but shifts the debate away from technophobia and towards something rooted in how the majority of people actually use the web in their daily lives. She considers her 2D digital works as paintings painted with digital software, and a way of taking part in the strange habits and patterns of the physical world that we bring to our digital environments. Likewise her sculptural installations unveil themselves in an enigmatic body language seemingly born from video chat, lifestreaming, and the specious present of online video media. She explains that she is, “attracted to the fusion of the physical and the digital space, the perception of materials, tactility, emotion and memory and how they manifest themselves in the digital.” As such, the work describes the encoding of objects, representations and performances into artistic hybrids of physical and digital worlds.