A couple weeks ago, I asked Stephanie Davidson if she would be interested in conducting a conversation about her practice over a shared tumblr site. aiwsd.tumblr.com is the result of our discussion of her work (both online and off), and how the communal aspects of image boards play a significant role in her practice.

In a short essay for the Guggenheim’s The Take blog, Olia Lialina discusses Stephanie’s work as participating in a vibrant and emerging (although to some, well established) pool of makers employing gifs as a means to simultaneously engage in early net-folk aesthetics as well as combat the cleanliness (or slickness) or large corporate social networking hubs. Rising Tensions, Stephanie’s tumblr, offers a broad pallet of influences and insights that show a casual sophistication in the strengths and weaknesses that blogs permit as a central practice. The name of this project itself reveals some of Stephanie’s stance on working within a network.

I attempt to engage Stephanie in a conversation concerning her ideas of home and space, as well as talk about how her paintings create an interesting play between mediums. Collage and appropriation seem obvious tactics of many digital artists (both new and old), however Stephanie’s gif mash-ups and use of “dated” visual techniques combine and intermingle with one another to create charming and poignant juxtapositions. Hopefully our conversation will continue to develop so be sure to check in periodically.

Nicholas O'Brien

Nicholas O'Brien is a new media artist, curator/organizer, and academic living and working in Chicago. Since getting his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Nicholas work has been included in multiple national and international venues including The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The Xth Biennial in Lyon net art project mybiennialisbetterthanyours.com, Lampo, Tank.tv, and the Centro Multimedia in Mexico City. He has also curated many screenings and live audio-visual performances within the Chicago area under many different projects including co-founding an alternative artist-run space called BUSKER which operated between 2005 and 2007. Currently, Nicholas is an adjunct faculty in the Department of Interactive Art and Media at Columbia College teaching media theory. More information about his work can be found at doubleunderscore.net