Jenny Odell - Neo-Surreal
On the Media Wall
Neo-Surreal is a body of work by the American artist and writer Jenny Odell. Odell completed this volume of work whilst artist-in-residence at the Internet Archive in 2017.
During her residency she came across a huge cache of the influential American computer magazine, BYTE, the covers of which playfully represent how commercial illustrations depicted computer culture in the 1980s. Odell extracted surreal imagery from the magazine ads and reconfigured this material into an image sequence that portrays the metaphors of computational culture at the time. Viewed in hindsight, and considering today’s technological present, these images embrace the surreal aspects of everyday technological objects while they also present the ways that the digital future was imagined 30 years ago.
Jenny Odell is a multi-disciplinary artist and writer based in Oakland, California. Her work is focusing on the rewards of close observation, especially as a way of participating in one’s physical environment. As part of this process, which exists at the intersection of research and aesthetics, her practice often involves encounters with archives or the creation of new ones, bridging the digital and the physical in the process. Her work has been exhibited at The Contemporary Jewish Museum, Ever Gold Projects, Les Rencontres D'Arles, Fotomuseum Antwerpen, Fotomuseum Winterthur, La Gaîté Lyrique (Paris), the Lishui Photography Festival (China), the Pratt Manhattan Gallery, apexart (NY), East Wing (Dubai), and the Google headquarters. It has also been featured in TIME Magazine's LightBox, The Atlantic, The Economist, WIRED, and a couple of Gestalten books.She has been an artist in residence at Recology SF, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Palo Alto Art Center, Facebook, and the Internet Archive. She also teaches Internet art and digital/physical design at Stanford university.