Family Computer: Familiar Interiors showcases a new series of pixelated cyanotypes that pays homage to the intertwining histories of art and video games. A follow-up to the Atlanta based artist’s exhibition Family Computer: Family Portrait (Kibbee Gallery, Atlanta, October 2018), Familiar Interiors focuses on landscapes in classic home video games and encourages a consideration of how humans interact with digital space.
“The pictures hopefully give a real sense of place or feeling by depicting spaces that never physically existed but were still experienced by whole generations of people.” – Ashley Anderson
The 11 scenes represented in this show should look familiar to those who grew up playing early home video games like Duck Hunt (1984) for Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), though slightly modified. Anderson digitally collaged background elements from the video game sources to create original images that feel more like imperfect memories than screenshots.
In some cases, the “re-compositions” quote specific historical works of art: “Wheatfield with Duck Roost (27 July 1890)” is loosely based on a Van Gogh painting, while the puddle in “Deep Blue Bayou” references an M.C. Escher print of a reflection in a tire tread puddle. It was Anderson’s love for painting and art history that drew him to the cyanotype process, being a form of photographic printing reliant on brushwork: paper is coated with a sun-sensitive chemical mixture, the exposure of which causes the paper to turn blue. An overlain negative will block the exposure to varying degrees, resulting in a blueprint-like image.
Full of callbacks to real-world art and imagery from classic video games, Familiar Interiors leads viewers to examine their own layered experiences of reality: physical to digital to conceptual and back.
“No one expects anyone to use video games to talk about anything other than nostalgia or pop culture, but what I’m interested in is history (art and otherwise), problems relating to seeing, and maybe what our relationship to machines is and could be.” –Ashley Anderson
Anderson will lead a cyanotype workshop at the brewery on the exhibition’s closing day, Sunday, March 24. Pre-registration will open online in February.
All the exhibited works of art are available for purchase at the brewery through the closing day, with 10% of proceeds supporting Creature Comforts’ Get Artistic nonprofit fund.