Tabs entertains the notion that a psychedelic state is not a transient objective experience generated within the brain, but rather a fixed landscape that exists indefinitely and may be accessed by any number of portals - chemical, meditative, sexual, spiritual, or otherwise - and applies this same concept to the digital landscape, to which any internet enabled device may serve as an access point.
The paintings presented in Tabs borrow equally from traditional oil painting techniques and from the pervasive aesthetic tropes of web-user interface. Emma's process is much in the tradition of Plein Air painting, a 19th century French movement in landscape painting which required that the artist work from direct observation while immersed within the environment being examined. Coming from a background of classical figure painting, she is most interested in the way that the human form is represented in this digital environment, which, though owned by Man is operated by Machine and is still very much under construction. These essentially featureless protagonists and their non-body parts exist in a static state unless literally animated. Their characteristics may be manipulated with unlimited frequency and intensity while not subject to any known laws of physics, a condition mirrored only by the psychedelic state.
Named in homage to both a very popular psychedelic access point and for the organizational mechanism used when navigating a digital landscape, the paintings presented in Tabs are meant to serve as archival documentation of this space in its’ infancy.
Tabs opens August 27, reception 6-9pm | 1196 Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn, NY | www.streamgallery.gallery
RIBS OUT! was a collaborative exhibition of new works on canvas created by Emma Stern while she acted as a test subject in a series of experiments as carried out by Tricia MacKenzie, PhD. The creation of this work was recorded using an EEG (brain recording) device, serving as pilot data for a study examining the neurological basis of creativity and influence in visual artists.