For four years, REVERSE has been an art space and incubator for the experimental cross-section of science, art and technology. The gallery made an official announcement stating they will relocate to Chelsea with the coming of April, where they plan to continue supporting emerging and mid-career artists who focus their dialogue on new digital technology.
Their announcement concluded with a final show on the night of Thursday, February 18th in their Williamsburg gallery. The exhibition included a musical installation called WORKING RHYTHMS by musician and artist Devin Curry, who recorded audio samples of places he frequents the most around New York – such places including bodegas, the laundromat, public transit, and coffee shops. The artist engineered the sounds taken from his iPhone to create an electronic dance track that visitors could interrupt, change, and interact with through sculptural objects. The sculptures are made of laser cut acrylic plastic, or plexiglass, and embedded within each piece are abstract drawings representing a specific location.
Devin graduated from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and aside from his solo project Grand Atrium, DJ’s in Brooklyn and has collaborated with fashion and music labels like Maison Kitsuné. Originally from Los Angeles, he is influenced by shared public spaces and unavoidable conglomeration, having told Greenpointers, “The concept of creating visual and sonic portraits of different locations was my artistic reaction to adjusting to life in NYC from my previous life in Los Angeles. In LA, I spent most of my time in the car to get around from place to place; now I exclusively use public transit and exist in a more condensed geographic area, and this change of pace has allowed me to focus on the finer details of my surroundings – the visual and sonic textures.
I’m a pretty extroverted person, so I really enjoy being surrounded by people all the time here and seeing familiar faces around my neighborhood. I’ve been really fascinated by our shared communal spaces. To some, they’re places of work, while to others, they’re merely a stop along the way to somewhere else. They’re part of the fabric of New York life and yet we are often too focused on what we’re doing to really think about where we are. During the process of making Working Rhythms, I found myself being more mindful of my surroundings and being on the lookout for moments of beauty.”
With artists like Devin who aim to capture the fabrication of the visceral and ephemeral into digital and physical art, REVERSE’s curator Andrea Wolf plans on expanding concurrent visions with more collaborations following REVERSE’s move from Brooklyn to Manhattan. I asked her a few questions regarding the next steps in continuing their collaboration with artists and furthering their community.
GP: Can you tell us about your background as an artist and the birth of REVERSE Gallery?
Andrea: I am a Chilean-born interdisciplinary artist living and working in New York. My work consists of ongoing research into time, memory, and image, and the relationship between personal memory and cultural practices of remembering. I create multimedia installations that explore how technology, media and memory affect and transform each other. I am interested in memory objects we produce such as photographs, home movies, and postcards. Working with found footage and transmedia storytelling techniques, I create experiences in which memory becomes an action that is constantly actualized in the present.
I hold MFAs in Documentary Filmmaking from Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona and in Digital Arts from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and an MPA in Interactive Telecommunications from NYU. I was a resident of the AIM Program at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in 2013 and an artist in residence at the IFP New York Media Center in 2015. I am currently a full time member at New Inc, the New Museum’s incubator program. I have shown my work and given lectures and workshops widely in New York and internationally in venues such as Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos, Santiago, Chile; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago, Chile; the Dumbo Arts Festival, Brooklyn; Bitforms Gallery, New York; the Paley Center for Media, New York; Brooklyn Fire Proof; Wave Hill, New York; MIT Media Lab, Boston; Digital Culture Center, Mexico City; VIZZI Festival, Kiev; and Medialab-Prado, Madrid.
I came to NY for Grad School in 2009. After graduating from ITP (Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU) I focused on my art practice. I was working on several exhibitions and projects here in New York and abroad.
In 2012, almost a year after graduating from ITP, I found the building at Frost, that we are now leaving. I was actually looking for an apartment, and in the middle of that search I came across some larger spaces that were up for rent. I went to check them out of curiosity. For a long time I’ve had an idea of an art space that would be more than simply a gallery, but a community, with studios for artist to work in, and the opportunities to show their art and to share skills and experiences. As an artist, I have always wanted to work in a space like that. Even though I did not pursue this dream actively, it was always in the back of my mind. This building (on Frost street) was perfect, with plenty of space for studios and an apartment upstairs. The rent was affordable and I took it. A came up with a business plan, but most important, I knew I had the support of friends who would help me bring this project to life and I had a network of peer artists and curators that I could invite to work and activate the space.
GP: How has REVERSE and its community grown since the last 4 years?
Andrea: Building a strong community, that supports and works with us, as we support them as well, has been a very important aspect of the development and growth of REVERSE. It has grown a lot and it has been a great and some times challenging learning process. Collaboration is key, and the idea is that we all gain from that. Our mission is to support innovative and boundary breaking projects that foster dialogue and artistic collaboration at the intersection of art, science and technology. We strive to offer a creative environment for the development of new ideas and cross-disciplinary cultural practices, promoting peer to peer knowledge exchange. There’s definitely a learning curve in how to achieve this. And with every exhibition, talk or workshop we host, we gain more experience and learn to do things better and get a better sense of what we can provide to the artist community around us. As we grow, we reach a larger audience and our network of collaborators grows as well. Having an active program and dynamic roster of activities has allow us to connect with a large number emerging and mid-career artists as well as guest curators and talented creators that nurture our space, bringing us closer to our goals.
GP: What kind of changes do you anticipate or look forward to the most with the relocation of the gallery?
We have decided to move to a smaller gallery-only space where we can focus on programming and content that facilitates our mission of supporting new and experimental forms of expression. We see this move as an incredible opportunity; this transition is a new a chance to think, evaluate, re-prioritise and adapt.
REVERSE will reopen at their new location April 14th with BEAUTIFUL INTERFACES: THE PRIVACY PARADOX, a group show exploring the dichotomy of the private and the public in our networked society. The exhibited work will live on a wireless network accessible through five routers at the gallery space that have been hacked, which visitors must login to through their own devices to view the artwork.
To learn more and stay updated on REVERSE, you can visit their website here.