STARS OF SUPERNOVA is a new-media art exhibition taking place September 15th through November 11th, 2017 at the NXT STG Collaborative Gallery in the DPAC Galleria, located across from the Buell Theatre. This student run operation, a collaboration between CU Denver’s College of Arts & Media and the Next Stage NOW! teams up with Plus Gallery and Denver Digerati for a fun and forward thinking exhibition that brings some of the leading assets of SUPERNOVA Outdoor Digital Animation Festival forward into a gallery context for greater contemplation and thoughtful experience.
SUPERNOVA STARS will weave a dynamic mix of works by the festival’s three guest jurors Faiyaz Jafri (NYC), Raquel Meyers (Madrid, Spain) and Peter Burr (NYC), as well as solo spotlight artist Jeremy Couillard, alongside a major interactive new media work by CU Denver alum Robert Fikes IV. SUPERNOVA’s guest jurors are celebrated worldwide for their pioneering work within the fields of new media, contemporary art, performance and digital motion graphics. This is a rare opportunity to experience a deeper side to their art, including multiple looping animations, an interactive video-game experience, 2d artworks including lenticular graphics, and some of the most exquisite 3d printed forms that show off this popular new modeling technique. SUPERNOVA is the ultimate international showcase for digital motion art and one of Denver’s most singular and innovative cultural projects.
Faiyaz Jafri (1968) was born and raised in rural Holland of Dutch and Pakistani descent. He studied at the Technical University of Delft (MS) and is self-taught as an animation artist and music composer.
His work has been exhibited in the form of print, paintings, video installations, animations and life size sculptures all over the world. Jafri’s award winning films have screened at prestigious festivals and museums. He has worked for international advertising clients and magazines, and on corporate and broadcast projects, in charge of motion graphics and post-production in the USA and Hong Kong. In recent years he has given workshops and lectures on his art and theories at universities, conferences, and festivals. He is the founder and curator of the Third Culture Film Festival in Hong Kong and is a part-time lecturer at Parsons School of Design in New York.
Jafri’s art explores Jungian archetypes in the modern world, distilling the pop references of mass media and global popular culture into a visual shorthand of neo-archetypes. Realizing early on that a computer could draw a straighter line than he ever could, Jafri started using computers as soon as the technology became more readily available. In 1987 he began making his first illustrations on an Apple computer using basic vector imaging software. Cumbersome and limited as these programs may seem now, they were perfect for Jafri’s already pictographic style. As the technology evolved, his work developed from flat line art into a stripped-down 3D computer graphics style he calls hyper-unrealism. Despite the endless possibilities offered by computers today, he stays close to his subject, leaving out unnecessary frills and extras until he’s left with an image that is unambiguous and almost obscene in its blunt power.
Raquel Meyers (1977, ES) is a Spanish artist who defines her practice as KYBDslöjd (drawing by typing). KYBDslöjd stands for keyboard dexterity. To be more precise, for drawing and crafting by typing, using just a character set. KYBD is the acronym for keyboard, where a drawing or an animation is typed in by using different keystrokes for each mark on the screen or the paper. The word Sloyd (Swedish, Slöjd) is derived from the Icelandic and means dexterity or skill. In old Swedish, we find the adjective slög (artistic or skillful).
In KYBDslöjd, the screen is the canvas, a rectilinear grid on which one keystroke at a time build a character-by-character imaginary. Like crafting or the typewriter technique. It is brutality itself because it reveals what it is and what it does without adornment. KYBDslöjd has a lot of similarities with Brutalist Architecture, where the character set is used unadorned and roughcast, like concrete. Brutalism has an unfortunate reputation of evoking a raw dystopia and the C64, Teletext or typewriters evoke an “object of nostalgia”. But nostalgic, retro, obsolete or limited are rhetoric qualities earned by constant repetition. It is a realm of possibilities rather than an arbitrary use of aesthetics for decorative purposes. A narrative, not a wallpaper. KYBDslöjd combines skill and technology as a challenge and quest for knowledge and imagination. An undiscovered raw force that, still, have so much to say. A message from a language unknown.
Since 2004 Meyers has performed at festivals like Transmediale, Fylkingen, Piksel, Mapping, La Casa encendida and Cimatics, at 8bit events like Tokyo Blip Festival and the Playlist exhibition, as well at Liste Art Fair Basel, Ars Electronica Center, Alingsås Konsthall, Bonniers Konsthall, Xpo Gallery, Click New Media Arts Festival, Alt_Cph, BEK- Bergen Center for Electronic Arts, LABoral and iMAL, among others.
Peter Burr (b. 1980) is an artist from Brooklyn, NY, USA specializing in animation and installation. His work has been presented at venues across the world including Le Centre Pompidou, Paris; Reina Sofia National Museum, Madrid; and MoMA PS1, New York. His recent work explores the concept of an endlessly mutating death labyrinth and is being expanded into a video game through the support of Creative Capital and Sundance. Previously, he worked under the alias Hooliganship and in 2006 founded the video label Cartune Xprez, through which he produced live multimedia exhibitions showcasing artists working in experimental animation.
Burr has been a major inspiration in the development of Denver Digerati ever since he brought his Cartun Xprez/Hooliganship tour to Denver’s Plus Gallery in 2006. That evening was one of the most joyous and memorable in the history of the gallery, introducing artists prominent in the development of today’s animation as well as a deeply creative and fun multi-media performance component. A prominent view of Burr’s rapidly developing work as an animator was later featured in MonkeyTown IV, a scintillating, intimate platform intertwining fine dining and contemporary motion-art launched as an extensive community experience in Denver in 2014. Burr’s “The Mess” was awarded Supernova’s prestigious Grand Prize for our inaugural competition in 2016, a 15 minute masterpiece that resonated fully in the context of a large-scale, outdoor LED presentation.
Jeremy Couillard, (b. 1980, Livonia, MI) lives and works in New York City. He graduated in 2012 from Columbia University with an MFA in painting. Couillard has exhibited internationally including The Rotterdam Film Festival, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Trafo, Szczecin, Poland; the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center with Ben Hall, New York, NY; Art Los Angeles Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA (solo); Zhulong Gallery, Dallas, TX (solo) and Louis B. James, New York, NY (solo). He recently completed a virtual reality video presented by the New Museum and Rhizome and an installation built around his video game Alien Afterlife at yours mine & ours gallery in New York, NY. Couillard’s work has been written about in VICE, Hyperallergic, The New York Times, Blouin Art Info, Art in America and more. He was also recently awarded a 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Digital Media. Couillard has been Assistant Professor of New Media at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, New York since 2014. Couillard is represented by Yours, Mine & Ours Gallery in NYC.
Find out more about SUPERNOVA at supernovadenver.com