New digital art commission by Peter Burr launches on whitney.org

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New digital art commission by Peter Burr launches on whitney.org
Peter Burr, screenshot of Liquid Crystal at sunrise, 2023.



NEW YORK, NY.- The Whitney Museum of American Art launches Sunshine Monument, a new digital art project by artist Peter Burr, on whitney.org. The project was commissioned for artport, the Museum’s online gallery space for net art commissions. Burr’s work is part of the ongoing Sunrise/Sunset series that activates across the Museum’s website twice a day at sunrise and sunset in New York City.

Sunshine Monument presents a series of seven animated architectures — one for each day of the week — that references the Museum’s structures literally and symbolically. Wandering figures populating the abstract building highlight the contrast between the ephemeral quality of a flow of short-term visitors to a museum site and the long-term engagement of its stakeholders, from artists to museum staff and patrons. Each scrolling animation that appears on the website twice daily reflects both the underlying formal principles of whitney.org and the current moment of web design. The animations appear in Burr’s signature style of animated black-and-white graphic elements. The graphic representations transform the text blocks and images on the website into an abstract building, yet still maintain the site’s adaptability to navigate the vertical and horizontal orientation of a computer screen or mobile device. The animations strive to channel the atmosphere of the late Web 2.0 landscape of social media and user-generated content, characterized by an increasingly indexed, optimized, and gamified environment.

“Sunshine Monument uses the moment of sunrise and sunset as a metaphor to reflect on cycles in museum structures, from the flow of visitors to changes in web design,” says Christiane Paul, Curator of Digital Art at the Whitney. “It aggregates these structures in a graphic world that subtly raises questions about the “frameworks” of art institutions.”

Burr frames the project as a monument to the sun, making a round icon the centerpiece for an architectural organism commemorating the sun and driven by its rise and disappearance. Interspersed text elements, which were generated by the artist using AI as a tool, poetically reflect on sunlight and museum structures.

Sunshine Monument is commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art. The Sunrise/Sunset series is overseen by Christiane Paul, Curator of Digital Art, for artport. Unfolding over a time frame of thirty seconds, each Sunrise/Sunset project disrupts, replaces, or engages with the Museum website as an information environment.

Peter Burr (b. 1980) is a Brooklyn-based artist whose practice often engages with tools of the video game industry in the form of immersive cinematic artworks. His works have been presented internationally by institutions including Documenta 14, Athens; MoMA PS1, New York; and The Barbican Centre, London.

Previously Burr worked under the alias Hooliganship and founded the video label Cartune Xprez through which he produced hundreds of live multimedia exhibitions and touring programs showcasing a multi-generational group of artists at the forefront of experimental animation. His practice has been recognized through grants and awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Creative Capital Grant, and a Sundance New Frontier Fellowship. He is a faculty member of Sarah Lawrence College's Filmmaking department.










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