I believe artists can help shape emerging technologies through cultural critiques that are crucial for human progress—a progress that is democratically diverse and humane, in as much as it relies on ecologically conscious and sustainable technologies.
Janna Avner’s oil paintings and curations are covered by Vice, Hyperallergic, LA Weekly, Artforum, and ArtNews. Avner cofounded FEMMEBIT, a digital art festival celebrating female-identifying artists in Los Angeles. She was a guest speaker for UCLA’s Digital Media Arts Department (2017), and the New York Times School (2019). Her writings on Artificial Intelligence were published in “What Future: The Year’s Best Ideas to Reclaim, Reanimate, and Reinvent Our Future,” considered one of the best science books of the year by Smithsonian Magazine. Avner graduated from Yale in 2012 and is a Masters candidate at California State University Northridge.
“My paintings question what is perceivable—digital spaces can now feel more real than ones away from the keyboard, and we can move through forest simulations on foreign terrain and even war zones while sitting in our living rooms. Yet the impressions created by software of a still life or a landscape are slightly blurred, pixelated, and unsure of their own vector.
Places, whether physical or digital, are always being altered and changing. My work deals with this transitory nature, and for this reason, is underpinned by the belief that nothing belongs exclusively to one space. While any given experience is a vivid instance of region specificity, it also is situational. Regional heritage, a collection of prior instances, is therefore fragile and precious. It can easily be lost unless tended to and remembered well.
My current work is a series of paintings that addresses the resulting complexities of origin and feelings of displacement in the digital age. I explore these themes through virtual, non-site specific depictions and through tangible portrayals of the Alaskan wilderness remembered as a child and adult. I am part Alaska Native, Koyukon Athabascan, but was raised in Los Angeles. I intend for my work to respond to the digital age by reflecting an empowered, multicultural positionality.”
– Janna Avner
On display for one week beginning 1.8.21
Helms Design Center at 8745 Washington Boulevard
All artwork is copyrighted work of the artist. All rights reserved. Images not to be used without permission.