Digitally inflected art is both the result and victim of contemporary culture’s acceleration and continual technological progress. By making “the new” its subject, it is vulnerable to what media theorist Wendy Chun calls the “bleeding edge of obsolescence.”
Bojana Ginn‘s exhibition “Recode. Play. Loop.,” on view at Swan Coach House Gallery through this Friday, comes at the digital genre with similar pretension, but with an honesty that reinforces its strength. The Yugoslavian-born artist, a trained medical professional, borrows from the language that informed her former vocation. Her work is full of enigmatic drawings composed of intersecting lines, polygons, tangled sculptural objects, light projections, and both an organic and inorganically keyed color palate. She injects her overall project with a science-driven curiosity about how aesthetic objects can function as an analogy for scientific phenomena and how aesthetic properties provide a window onto reality’s underlying structure.
Split into three sections, the show comprises photo-based works, drawings, and a mixed-media installation titled Recode. Play. Loop. Occupying the gallery’s main space, Recode. Play. Loop. consists of a low-lying polygonal platform zigzagging from one end of the small room to the other. On it are a number of boxy film projectors on tripods and, on one end, electric pink objects. Numerous upright dowels are interspersed on the platform, which creates a spatial ambiguity. Its blending of light projections and sculptural elements succeeds when the two meld seamlessly.
The projected animations riff on the notion of growth. Colorful configurations of both rectilinear and curvilinear forms morph, creating new configurations. Forms with both open and closed edges are nested within an environment of arching design elements. The artist’s cursor remains visible, revealing another layer of complexity to Ginn’s theme.
Ginn’s drawings dispense with the whirring mechanics of her installation in favor of forms that quietly effloresce. Source code lures with a diversity of line quality. Technology is de-emphasized in favor of mathematical symbols that themselves represent immaterial concepts. Scale shifts and value gradations give the drawing a sense of movement and depth, and pictorial tension is heightened by hexagons that pull against the gravity of a honeycomb formation.
The drawings offer a more nuanced metaphor of what code can mean in the realm of art. Through a pluralism of representational styles and an interest in complexity, Ginn’s “Recode. Play. Loop.” takes a noble stab at intertwining the slippery concept of “the new” and our representation of it.