When we go online, what are we looking for? For many of us in the developed world, it’s the dangling carrot of ourselves, of course. And we do this through quizzes, surveys, memes, horoscopes, filters, apps, and even online shopping. What kind of medieval cat do we feel like today? What is our moon sign and is it compatible with our crush? What kind of pizza best suits our personality? What should we do with our lives?
This exhibition brings together works old and new by the artist that have deep roots in Internet culture. On the lower level an installation of a brand new artist book entitled “It me” is juxtaposed with a video from 2009 screened on an original iPad. The former meditates upon the evolution and use of the emoji in the context of our hyper-politicised society and the endless scroll, while the latter collects a group of early Internet adopters reciting their back catalogs of usernames. To greet visitors on the upper level, there is a series of prints composed of digital trash and a pair of surveys for which there are no wrong answers.
Jessica Williams (b. 1986, US/NO) is an Oslo-based artist who works freely within the realms of publishing, photography, text, and new media. She holds a BFA from the Cooper Union in New York City (2008) and a MFA from the National Academy of Art, Oslo (2014). Her working methods are like those of a hunter/gatherer, which is a nice way of saying she often works with trash. Everything from institutional language, mass-produced consumer goods, internet scraps, and physical debris finds its way into her work. She is also an avid collaborator, often involving others in her works.
Her work has been exhibited widely over the past decade, notably at Good Press, Glasgow (solo); KRETS, Malmö (solo); High Tide, Philadelphia (two-person); The New Museum, New York City; Art in General, New York City; Capricious Space, Brooklyn; Open Space, Baltimore, among others. She has also had solo exhibitions in Oslo, Bergen, Barcelona, and Austin, Texas.