Vice Versa

Vice Versa at Tomorrow Gallery

Work by Parker Ito and Brad Troemel

“Vice Versa, an exhibition by Parker Ito and Brad Troemel, poses alternate conceptions of visuality in light of digital media’s rampant proliferation of images. Through obfuscating the subject of their works each artist points to the now seemingly infeasible possibility of being refused access to information, drawing attention to the material and media structures that allow for recognition of their projects in the first place. Each work functions as a known unknown, a document encrypted within itself.

Parker Ito creates paintings using the highly reflective material 3M Scotchlite as a stretched canvas. When photographed Ito’s paintings turn in to an unrecognizable blur, a reflective white flash of light that obliterates the nuance of his painted marks on canvas. Ito’s installation images thus become new works altogether, nodes in a network of representations his paintings are a part of alongside cell phone pictures posted to Facebook, images from the exhibition’s opening, and Tumblr posts where his paintings are juxtaposed next to everything from internet memes to pornography. Thus, the experience of seeing the paintings in person becomes both unique and incomplete, it is a mode of viewing unlike any other yet knowingly one of many vantage points to be taken.

Brad Troemel has made use of the anonymous online black market The Silk Road since 2011. For Vice Versa he scanned and encrypted invoices, packaging, and contraband purchased through the Silk Road using a technique known as ‘bubbling’, a process typically associated with covering online pornography where genitals are left obfuscated by the negative space created from erased circles. Viewers are placed in a position of trusting the limited evidence presented to them in the same manner Troemel relied on images and descriptions when sending anonymous cash over the internet for his purchases. All titled ending in .PSD, an acronym for Photoshop Document, the mounted prints allude to the digital files the prints are made from, whereby the concealed information can be fully accessed.” – Tomorrow

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