Scrolling Unconsciously: A New Show Explores the Art of Reblogging

Wade Jeffree's ‘Optically Unconscious’ explores the objects of fast-paced internet culture.

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Jul 3 2015, 2:00pm

Images Courtesy of  Wade Jeffree and +81 Gallery

Hanging on a wall in artist Wade Jeffree’s new solo show at +81 Gallery, Optically Unconscious, are a set of Comme des Garçons shirts. Both polka-dotted with the red, heart-shaped face, but one is real and one isn’t. The work, Cop That Copy, is a comment on the nature in which images move across the internet. “Only a handful of the people I asked at the show could pick which shirt was the fake. We are in a stage of over-stimulation, which should enable us to be more attuned to the elements that surround us. yet, it is the exact opposite,” Jeffree tells The Creators Project. He considers the shirts to be a metaphor for an increasingly visual culture that digs, often devoid of context, through piles of images on Instagram and Tumblr.  

Throughout the gallery, basketballs are presented in several works that make the artist's point clearer: “Basketball is very much a recurring theme on Tumblr. Whether it was a shot from the '96 NBA Finals or an image of a ball in an interesting still life, the theme resurfaces often,” he explains. In the work, Basketball Table: Repost Coffee Table, the basketballs are deflated to question whether or not you have to be a basketball fan to share memes and GIF’s associated with the sport. These qualities, for Jeffree, question the authenticity of the sharing of the image.

Says Jeffree, “The Basketball Coffee Table will soon become a piece that is ultimately represented and seen by more people online than in the physical context, as will many of these pieces. When the images of this piece are uploaded, it will become fodder for the Internet and platform of visual curation."

Jeffree’s theoretical approach to his art practice comes from his background in graphic design. In the black-and-white text-based work, Supplementary Identity, the artist draws attention to the digital personas people hone on different platforms. “Who we represent ourselves as online and in our physical lives are often too drastically different,” he says. “The show is not an attack on these ideals, but one I believe worth discussing." Jeffree then pauses and adds, “I hope to have my theories disproved.”

Below, see more of the work apart of Optically Unconscious:

Optically Unconscious is on view at +81 Gallery through July 19, 2015. Click here to learn more. 

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