Daniel Herr - White Mania, 2013
Daniel Herr - White Mania, 2013
William Powhida - How to Try and be OK with the Contemporary Art Market, 2014
Xu Qu - Route Yellow & Blue [detail], 2013
Adam Mysock - And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward [detail], 2011
One of Neuwirth’s hotel “studios”
Part two of the third installment of “Escape from New York” featuring Dylan Neuwirth.
In previous interviews conducted for “Escape from New York,” there has been a theme of using the studio as an escape from the outside world. The city can be an overload of sensual stimulation that makes it impossible for an artist to create a body of work. For Neuwirth, the studio was exactly the opposite. It seemed as though he needed to access this wave of information in order to create. I asked him if, given this restlessness, he ever needed to unplug.
“I only get this inside an airplane at 30,000 ft. and even though I know I could connect I don’t. This distance is what defines me against the continual presence of the digital other and being inside this fuselage is kind of like being inside an anechoic chamber. It’s here I can see the division between what is considered real and what is accepted as virtual. That’s really what I try to go for in my work, the expression of the space between our physical existence and the realm of the digital as a kind of problem area. Nothing to be construed as negative, yet in its essence a problem nonetheless. Something we seek to solve and that, in a way. solves us with no real or true answer except its proliferation. It’s an undefined space continually evolving it’s meaning in an endless feedback loop. For me, I have to be away from it so I can get into it with more freedom.”
I finally met Neuwirth when he visited New York partly in order to deliver and install one of his neon pieces. He told me that he had made a sale over Twitter, and it wasn’t his first. Not only does he scrape content from the internet, but he makes transactions over the platforms we use just to express ourselves. I asked him to go into depth about how he uses social networks to be his own dealer.
“For me social media is a central location. It’s the only fixed location for me. It’s the place I can always be found. It’s the studio and the really. It’s a place I have full control over. I’ve said in the past I use social media to define who I am. No identity is fixed and I use social media to continually figure out who I am and this what the work is doing. That’s all a studio is anyway.
"Since I’m constantly altering my physical location and staying abreast of the digital weather, I have a multi-faceted take on culture. I see things, trends, movements not only in a physical sense but how they are digitally expressed.
"Then it’s like I see I myself not as a regional artist or attached to any one place either. I want to be everywhere. Make work that looks like it could be anywhere. To be singular and be synonymous at the same time. Like a totally underground electronic artist who infiltrates the top charts only to return to the murky depths again.
"I just keep making and showing. Positioning my work where it can be seen so that I never have to compromise my vision. If I make work that I get off on, my girlfriend and son get into and our tight circle of friends get stoked, that’s a win. Seeing it extend into the outer world via social media and connect with people is the next step. Seeing it hit and resonate there is a double win. Making a sale is a slam dunk.
"I’m focused on making and selecting the perfect stone and then letting it go. Tossing it into the river and watching the ripples spread. If it’s done right, it’s done right.
"Sometimes the ripples hit other shores. For instance, I sold the work IRL to a net/new media artist recently over Twitter. I had been posting carefully captured Polaroids of works from MMXIV knowing the bulk of them would make an impact. Like I knew, over time, the collection of them would sink in and boom… this artist dropped the tweet that began the relationship.
"I was already going to be in NYC for 36 hours to attend the ARTFCITY party and set it up so that I could install the work in his West Village apartment and project space as well.”
"So, a work generated in Beijing, fabricated and displayed in Seattle, shared over Twitter, and brought in my backpack on a redeye flight in the dead of winter was installed in NYC. All from casting a single stone.”
The day after I met Neuwirth, I woke up and reached over for my phone. He had Tweeted me a message. He was already flying somewhere over the continental United States on his way to the Philippines.