The artistic practice of Canadian-American visual artist David Hanes is concerned with photography, digital manipulations, and physical sculptures that take conceptual forms suggestive of computers, to thereby comment on how we present, consume, and learn about art in our current digital age.
Technology has presented both opportunities and limitations for the world of art for decades. Yet art that utilizes the internet is now no longer just an archive of artworks online; it is its own medium. Hanes is interested in the dissolution of traditional forms of art consumption: where we once only found exposure to art through commercial galleries, now, art is everywhere, made accessible 24/7 through computers. The Berlin-based artist creates sculptures and mixed-media art that probes this new cultural phenomenon. “My work offers a wide-ranging yet highly specific reference to art on the internet,” he explains to IGNANT. “My paintings occupy the border between abstraction and representation, questioning the conceptualization and presentation of art online.” For his sculptures, Hanes uses concrete, aluminium, and debris to create forms that mimic the physical elements of computers; with the aim of referencing the materials central to the architecture of our digital cultures. “My sculptures use forms that recall the computer not just as a tool, but as the locus of our dreams, fantasies, and unconscious psychology,” he says. Hanes connects his art with his experience of digital technology, in an attempt to confront the consequences of existing in a generation that is shaped by the illuminated screen.