The Armory Show 2017
In his "Useless Landscape" series, Hoff depicts cellular-free landscapeshe captured in different areas known as dead zones for cellularcommunication. To create these images, Hoff utilizes a silkscreen/resist/etching technique that is commonly used to produce circuitboards; a technique that engineers borrowed from artists and printmakers beginning in the 1940s and 1950s, when circuit boards became commonplace in consumer electronics.
By adopting this electronic material and process, Hoff displaces its techno-functionality, rending the material useless with an image of a landscape that has also been rendered useless by current standards of productivity, which requires connectivity 24 hours a day, 7 days aweek. The end result is a haunting, copper landscape that floatsatop the fiberglass’s opaque and milky plane. In a new series of landscapes, premiering at the Armory Show, Hoff uses black fiberglass to evoke the landscape at night.
These works are offset by Hoff’s "Light Cycle" series of floor works and wallpaper, which consists of found stones/rocks that the artist has painted with a pattern of digital camouflage. Hoff’s interest in camouflage stems from its development by artists in response to the changing nature of visual technologies, in particular aerial photography, in the first world war. At that time, artists were employed to create visual patterns/codes that would allow for equipment and people to disappear into the landscape. Hoff conflates this early history with its contemporary, digital equivalent in an attempt to registerand record the technological value of rocks as mineral anthologies that are mined and processed to build digital infrastructures and computer hardware. This ensures that any walk through the forest is a strollthrough the membrane of a future computer.
James Hoff (b.1975) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He has performed and exhibited his art work extensively throughout the United States and Europe over the last ten years. Recent solo museum exhibitions include B=R=I=C=K=I=N=G at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, Louisiana; and Black Box, BacoArte Contemporanea, Bergamo Italy. Two-person and group exhibitions include those at The Hessel Museum ofArt, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; The Kitchen, New York; Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld; Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis; The Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, MI; Kunsthall Oslo. Readings, talks and performances by Hoff have taken place at Mass MoCa, North Adams, Massachusetts; Artist’s Space, New York; MoMA, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Issue Project Room, New York; and La Monnaie/De Munt, Brussels, Belgium. Hoff is also the co-founder of the non-profit publishing organization Primary Information. Inspired in part bythe subculture of small-press practice and influenced by the definition of the artist book and its varied forms as formulated by Printed Matter, Hoff makes use of these constructive reflections enabled by digging deep into historic archives as well as encouraging today’s artists to contribute to this discourse deriving from Conceptual Art and Fluxus amongst others. These roots are generating a field of prospects and potentials that inspire his work as a visual and sound artist alike.
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