Curated By Livy Snyder for Supernova DigiLounge at Next Stage Gallery
On view in Denver, CO September 10 - November 23, 2019
Featuring works by Bia Rodrigues, Charles Park, Tabita Rezaire, Jihee Nam, Matt Plain, Gyuri Lee, Peter Rahul, Julia Mueller, Ryan + Rachel Betschart, Sophie Koko Gate, Derek Larson and Garrett M Davis
What haunts the digital cul-de-sac of the twenty first century? Themes, styles, objects reverberate through an echo chamber of the aesthetic logic of late capitalism. The future is crystalized artifacts. The newest technology is being used to recreate an amalgamation of distant past iconic styles and archaic technologies, such as 80’s revivalism, vaporwave, hypnagogic pop, pixel art. Alluring and familiar as these revived aesthetics are, why do we find them appealing now? What are these trends a symptom of? How does it reflect our current condition?
This cultural state of recursively turning to the past is understood by theorist Mark Fisher who states that there becomes an unlearning of the creation or imagining of the future. In the early 2000’s, Fisher marked this nostalgia for lost futures as "the closest thing we have to a movement, a zeitgeist". The concept Hauntology was then used to describe the artistic dependence upon the twentieth century and its vision of anticipated futures.
This curation of experimental digital artworks articulates an aesthetic phenomena, Hauntology. Due to the virtual nature of the digital world, there is an absence of decay. Through this perspective, a structure that cannot decay provides little room for the new. And as a result, it leaves a trace of eerie outdated and unchanging form that can be left as a digital nostalgic artifact. Fisher asks are we caged in the safety of the familiarity of old aesthetics? The artworks curated in Digital Cul-de-sac of the Twenty first Century loop, reverberate, and splice in subordination to the demands of the past cultural forms.
- Livy Snyder, Independent Curator, 2019
 Mark Fisher, K-PUNK, 2006