NEW YORK, NY.-
Today, Looted by American Artist debuts on artport, the Whitneys portal to Internet art and online gallery space for commissions of net art.
Looted temporarily replaces all of the images on whitney.org with textures of plywood while the webpage backgrounds change to black and the text on them fades. The artwork symbolically and literally boards up the Museum and its website in an act of both redaction and refusal.
Through this project, American Artist examines the distinction and tension between protest and looting, extending this physicality to the online space, which has been the primary site for viewing art and cultural programming during the COVID-19 pandemic. As an intervention into a museum website, Looted underscores that no space can remain unaffected by the examination of and demands for racial justice. The work also alludes to larger discussions of restitution and critiques of those cultural institutions who hold looted objects.
Looted is a Sunrise/Sunset projecta series of Internet art projects commissioned by the Whitney specifically for whitney.org to mark sunset and sunrise in New York City every day. Unfolding over a time frame of 10 to 30 seconds, each project disrupts, replaces, or engages with the Museum website as an information environment. Visitors anywhere on whitney.org during sunset or sunrise will experience Looted. More information on the project is available at whitney.org/exhibitions/american-artist
The Sunrise/Sunset series is organized by Christiane Paul, adjunct curator of digital art at the Whitney Museum.
American Artist (b. 1989) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work considers Black labor and visibility, as well as anti-blackness within networked life and digital systems. Their work includes video, installation, new media, and writing, and their legal name change to American Artist serves as an ambivalent foundation for their practice. It insists on blackness as descriptive of an American artist, and at the same time erases identity in virtual spaces where American Artist is an anonymous name, unable to be googled or validated by a computer as a persons name. Artist is a 20182019 recipient of the Queens Museum Jerome Foundation Fellowship. They are a former resident of Abrons Art Center and EYEBEAM and completed the Whitney Independent Study Program as an artist in 2017. They have exhibited at the Museum of African Diaspora, San Francisco; the Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and Koenig & Clinton, New York. They have published writing in The New Inquiry and New Criticals and have been featured in The New York Times, Artforum, ARTnews, and Huffington Post.
Artport is the Whitney Museum's portal to Internet art and an online gallery space for commissions of net art and new media art. Originally launched in 2001, artport provides access to original art works commissioned specifically for artport by the Whitney; documentation of net art and new media art exhibitions at the Whitney; and new media art in the Museum's collection.