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Krista Kim and A Response To Light

Words:

Edd Norval
February 28, 2019

Contemporary life is like a journey through light. Advertising billboards, neon signs, traffic lights, lamplight, car indicators and mobile phones. When we get home, faux natural light illuminates the space around our LED television sets. Krista Kim explores our place in the light-verse and how technology can either keep us prisoner or set us free.

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In Kim's art, she explores the various spectrums present in colour fields, particularly pertaining to the vast possibilities of LED light. The founder of the Techism movement, that lives at the confluence point of art and technology, creates bold and abstract pieces that rely on their colours, rather than content, for emotion.


Vast reds swallow up the audience in a warm embrace whilst her interactive installations exist as a dialogue between the user and the artist, with the third party participant being technology itself. Technological innovation is oft regarded as a distancing mechanism of business. We're becoming reliant on our devices like a drip into our veins of flowing self-esteem. For Kim, technological advancements equal digital humanism.


The humanity behind these devices aren't necessarily their intention, but their interpretation. Hues that resonate with us on a primal level may never have been possible with only natural dyes and colours alone, but with the technology available, intensity can be ramped up to make art that keeps its head above water in a loud era that silences anything that doesn't shout.

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Artists like Felipe Pantone create works that engage in a technological conversation with the aims of extracting human emotions in a similar way to Kim. It's the way technology can make us feel. It's inherently positive. A reinterpretation of a common misconception that 'new' and 'advancement' means bad. It's an emerging and important movement in art.


Like capitalism without restraints, technology too can create a gulf between have and have-not. Kim believes artists hold part of the responsibility to act as a buffer for periods of great change. The future is dictated by these big businesses that are producing interactive devices en masse. Artists like Kim can help tech integrate into culture. She brings the two together, where without her ideas, they'd either grow further apart, or dangerously close.


Kim's Digital Consciousness series uses LED lights, manipulated by software, to highlight bursts of colour related to the synthetic rather than natural world, blurring in a way that has real emotional resonance. A philosophical artist, more than many, Kim's works act as a device whereby her thoughts can explore and her ideas be rendered and experienced in real time.

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Deeply interested in the social effects of technology, Kim looks at the interpersonal aspects, particularly the disruptive nature of social media on real human interaction. Reduced to mere algorithmic interaction, Kim's bright colourscapes and interactive installations are immersive meditative spaces that take on a spiritual and transcendent aura, as if technology is a God in the modern world and that we must, as disciples, seek to engage in a deeper more meaningful way, rather than stoop to blind faith.


In her manifesto on Techism, she asks a particularly pertinent question that one feels may constitute as the foundational thought underlining all of her practice, "What does it mean to be human in the digital age, and where is the beauty in it?" Not only what does it mean but for how long is it possible to retain a connection before the two irrevocably fracture.


Humanity underlines the movement, if not to say Techism fundamentally hinges on it, "Art is experiential, the phenomenal. We, the viewer participate, and discern for ourselves, what we behold.


Techism is the movement of our time, where we need to acknowledge digital disruption of our society, and accept the immense task of creating new culture that expresses our humanity in the digital age."

Kim's ideas are not ones that we can choose to embrace, rather ones that we are becoming forced to. If we continue to consume technology unchallenged, from the dual perspective of creator and user, the abyss is clearly right there in front of us, an emotional blackhole that Kim's art and the Techism movement is doing its best to steer us away from.

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