In Whitney Biennial 2019...Vision Board search engine artist Gretchen Andrew presents her internet manipulation of the prestigious New York exhibition as a participatory installation.
If you were to Google “Whitney Biennial 2019” and select “Images” it would appear as if Gretchen were included in this year’s Whitney Biennial. In fact, she has only created an aspirational “vision board” website where she expresses her desire to be included. Upon closer inspection of the images Google returns, viewers can see the obvious imperfections, uneven edges, and decorative elements that mark it as a vision board such as words of encouragement and motivational stickers.
As is traditional in vision boards, Gretchen’s meticulously explores the feelings and motivations behind this desire. However, unlike with traditional vision boards, the artist uses her process of Internet Imperialism to program her ideal future into being, convincing the internet to display her hopes as an already accomplished reality. The internet can be seen as a global subconscious and, much like our own subconscious, it cannot tell the difference between a hoped-for future intensely imagined during meditation or hypnosis and what has, in fact, already occurred. Thus the websites Gretchen has created about how she wants to be in the Whitney Biennial 2019, confuses google into accepting it as if she is already in the Whitney Biennial 2019.
At Whitney Biennial 2019...Vision Board visitors to the LA Center for Digital Art will be invited to adhere words of encouragement and motivational stickers around Gretchen’s painting to transform the gallery’s white walls into a large vision board, collectively imaging and celebrating a hoped-for future. At the opening, we will dive into the over-the-top yet totally nonironic positive vibes of desire. Except to party as if you and your best friend just achieved a long-sought goal. Toasts given.
Earlier this year, Andrew’s “Frieze Los Angeles” search engine art series dominated search results in timing with the debut of the Frieze Los Angeles art fair. Both this project and “Whitney Biennial 2019” are part of a larger project titled It’s My Future...and I Want You There. This body of work includes paintings about places, feelings, and people that she wants in her future, presented alongside manipulated search results that make it appear as if this future has already happened. This work continues her ongoing examinations into the shortcoming and bias of the internet with her work targeting the unrealized potential inherent within internet and search technology along with the connection between dreams and the ethos of computing.
About the artist:
Gretchen Andrew (born in California, 1988) is a Search Engine Artist and Internet Imperialist who programs her paintings to manipulate & dominate search results. She has completed projects or exhibitions with The V&A Museum, The Photographer’s Gallery, The British Film Institute, Cambridge University, The Swiss Re Center for Global Dialogue, Arebyte, A4 Arts Foundation, The British Arts Council, The White Building, Ace Hotel, The London Film School, The Wikipedia Foundation, The Mozilla Foundation, and Whitcher Projects. She trained in London with Billy Childish.