Critics’ Picks

Artie Vierkant, Air filter and method of constructing same 34, 2014, US Patent 8118919 B1, aluminum, print on charcoal fiberglass mesh, print on organza, wood, 50 x 80 x 25".

New York

Artie Vierkant

30 Orchard Street
November 2–December 14, 2014

With someone as Internet ubiquitous as Artie Vierkant, it’s always pleasant to see the work in person. His latest exhibition, “A Model Release,” begins with the two-screen video piece Antoine Office, Antoine Casual, 2014, where Vierkant uses stock motion-capture data to animate a 3-D scan of a man. Rendered by turns in business attire and in a yellow T-shirt and flip-flops, Antoine gesticulates wildly against single-color backdrops and at one point his own flattened face.

The gallery’s back room is taken over by the second iteration of Vierkant’s ongoing series “Exploits.” In 2013, the artist began approaching patent holders, negotiating for legally acknowledged permission to create artwork based on their intellectual property. US 8118919 B1 (Air Filter and Method of Constructing Same), a patent for a layer of organza silk added to window screens for allergen filtration, is realized in altered form as a pair of hollow, white boxes, outfitted with mesh screens and silk printed with diagrammatic doodles and photogram-esque images of office clothing. Elsewhere, US 6318569 B1—a “detachable storage rack for a metallic structure for organizing and storing small bottles and containers within reach of the user”—materializes as large reflective metal rectangles hung on the wall, crossed by International Klein Blue shelves.

Given that copyright law already provides for the creation of derivative artworks without permission of the authors from whom their elements are borrowed, Vierkant’s negotiations are in fact legally unnecessary—and this is part of the point. A generative process rather than an attempt at legal rationale on its terms, each agreement becomes material like any other. Both the sculptures’ liberal interpretations of intellectual property and Antoine Office, Antoine Casual’s possession by stock material see Vierkant coax the formal structures of law out of objects, aestheticizing corporate language and imagery while engaging with their worlds.