New York

Gareth James

Elizabeth Dee Gallery

Despite the rise of computer animation, many of the special effects we see in movies and on television are created using an old technique in which subjects are shot in front of a featureless blue screen that is later replaced by a different background. When used skillfully, blue-screen imaging lends perceptual credence to fantasy; when used poorly (as it frequently is in basic-cable talk shows, corporate motivational videos, and local-news weather reports) it gives rise to a grab bag of optical anomalies—absence of parallax, actors with halos around their bodies—that add up to a uniquely dismal visual vernacular. For Gareth James, bluescreen blue, a sort of chromatic cipher that is everywhere and nowhere at once, is the heraldic color of contemporary capitalism, emblematizing the system that keeps us entertained while it insinuates itself into every aspect of our lives. Its

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