Man Bartlett

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Clement Valla 
Blank Process (Areas of interest on the studio wall as determined by a computer vision algorithm) 
High resolution digital scan, Open CV software, archival pigment on canvas, plywood 30 inches by 40 inches each.
Images courtesy of the artist 

It’s been a while since I’ve done a
Friday Studio Visit, but man did I pick a good week to return! Valla’s Greenpoint studio was such a joy to visit. He is making the type of work I’ve really been seeking out recently: Smart, sophisticated, non-pretentious, contemporary. But most refreshingly, the conceptual components of the work are not compromised by their creative use of technology/ technological themes.

For example one piece in particular during the visit jumped out at me (pictured above). Valla photographed his blank studio wall extremely close up, and allowed the camera to use its built-in “interesting detector” to highlight areas it thought worth highlighting. These were then printed large scale and re-installed on the studio wall. So simple, so good! And just the best kind of smart-funny. I found myself thinking about art and artistic process in relationship to technology in ways I rarely do. Namely, in a way more abstract/existential way. Which might all sound kind of lofty were it not saved by the inherent humor of the whole thing.

Despite the technologies that seem to be the inspiration for much of Valla’s work, it somehow always maintains a distinct relationship to “humanness.” It’s deceptively simple in the best possible way. And, to be honest, deserves a more thorough critical analysis than I have the ability to give it. In the meantime, it was a blast visiting his studio, and I encourage you to check out his site.

the artist in his studio