Big data analytics have become indispensable in fields such as sociological enquiry and market research – In Rafaël Rozendaal’s browser extension ‘Abstract Browsing’, data is mined in order to formalise its user’s everyday routine within a singular aesthetic framework. In doing so it reveals the building blocks of the tech titans – Facebook and Twitter for instance – that its users inhabit. Partly in response to the pervasiveness of pattern in Istanbul, Rozendaal used his software to create a series of nine hand-embroidered textiles whose fields of colour are rendered in an intricately-crafted repeating pattern. Images of high profile online spaces such as the New York Times, the Newsweek Daily Beast, and CNN were transformed into painstakingly produced textile works in Şile, a small town on the Baltic known for the cloth that bears its name.
‘I imagine we will live in a world where there is no difference between a screen or any other surface. Any surface can change at will… ”When I show my work on a projector, you are seeing the actual work, not documentation.’
Taken from the artist’s blog
Rozendaal’s residency culminated with the online talk ‘Mister Nice Hands’, at the end of which he invited his audience to a ‘discussion’ comprised entirely of Youtube clips. Abhoring the existence of a ‘whole world of unseen artworks that travel from vault to vault,’ Rozendaal advocates increased public access to art. Updating pop-art’s industrial forms and colours, his browser extension and textile series ‘Abstract Browsing’ addresses both aesthetic and conceptual legacies of design, craft, and contemporary art in its visualisations of web architectures.
Rafaël Rozendaal (b. 1980, Amsterdam) is an artist living and working in New York. He received his BFA from Academie Beeldende Kunsten, Maastricht. Selected solo exhibitions include MU, Eindhoven, 2015; Postmasters, New York, 2015; Midnight Moment: Times Square, New York, 2015; Carl Kostyál, Stockholm, 2015; Steve Turner, Los Angeles, 2014; Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam, 2014; Seoul Art Square, Seoul, 2014; Postmasters Gallery, New York, 2013; KK Outlet, Los Angeles, 2013; Steve Turner, Los Angeles, 2012; Kunstverein Arnsberg, 2012; Spencer Brownstone, New York, 2010; Future Gallery, Berlin, 2010; TSCA Gallery, Tokyo, 2010; Netherlands Media Art Institute, Amsterdam, 2010. Recent group shows include STRP Biennial, Eindhoven, 2015; Museum of the Image, Breda, 2014; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2014; Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, 2014; Telfair Museum, Savannah, 2014; G8 Gallery, Tokyo, 2014; Kawasaki City Museum, Japan, 2013; Kunstverein Frankfurt, 2013; 319 Scholes, New York, 2013; Polytechnical Museum, Moscow, 2012; Centre d’Art Bastille, Grenoble, 2012; Museu da Imagem e do Som, São Paulo, 2012; Rhizome at the Armory, New York, 2011; Internet Pavilion, Venice Biennial, 2009. His works were also presented on the world’s largest LED screen in Seoul Square in 2012.