Nina Cristante is an artist, autodidactic nutritionist, Aquarius and my best friend. Had it not been for a mutual friend linking us during her temporary stay in NYC seven months back, I may’ve never been introduced to the full spectrum of her work. Just a subtle trail of digital breadcrumbs. Slow-mo-promo. A whisper, a wink, a bikini body meme. A deliberately ambiguous website hosting austere at-home workout videos and fragments of clients’ food diaries.
Candy Crush enthusiast and app-appropriationist Tabor Robak is presenting his latest work in a solo show that just opened at Team Gallery. As a programming virtuoso, Robak disrupts virtual ideologies and aestheticizes game imagery through playful cyber subversions. The gallery-goer will find herself riding a looping roller coaster one moment; browsing through sleek refrigerator goods in another; and settling down for a cozy picnic in stunning simulated landscapes. The widget-witted Robak offers us a comprehensive insight into the ongoing gamification of reality.
Working in programs including Unity, After Effects, Photoshop and Cinema 4D, he explores a secondary, digital reality, rendered in what he refers to as a “Photoshop tutorial aesthetic” or a “desktop screensaver aesthetic.” His meticulously produced and filmed environments are cobbled together from sources both sampled and hand-modeled. The works are appropriative, both in their subject matter and aesthetic, using elements purchased and then edited for his purposes. Adopting the visual vocabulary of contemporary video games, Robak isolates and comments on digital space as an abstract fact, while simultaneously pushing up against the increasingly tenuous separation between perceptions of the digital and the real.
Update your iCals! The exhibition, Next-Gen Open Beta, will take place from November 24th to January 12th at Team Gallery, located at 83 Grand Street (between Wooster and Greene).