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Dispersed object and dispersal practice

I create artwork in the form of projects which consist of multiple modules. I see my projects as one whole work, and they are often focussed on a particular aspect of the art object and its dispersion. Some elements in my work pop up in several projects. I call these building blocks modules because I use them in many different combinations and  configurations.
By working on a project I develop objects, tools or ways of working that can stand on its own. For instance a font, a database, a 2d work, or a text can become a book, or a part of archives and installations. These modules or building blocks on their own are unfinished which makes them very adaptable so I can reuse and change them as needed in different events or projects. As a result the viewer/user can engage with my work through these two ways, projects & modules, or installations and individual items.
Another consequence is that my work is not focussed on creating a static work or ‘end product’ but it remains fluid. It is always on the way to become something else, so I find it problematic, if not pointless, to label my art or to put my work in a conceptual box, such as (post-) conceptual art, institutional critique, installation, digital, new media, post internet, etc. Some instances might fall in one or the other, it might fall in between or outside, or it might be moving from one to something else.  Having said that these terms point to a certain direction and sometimes I do put art in boxes literally. I often play with categorisations because I realised that if I don’t others will.
My most recent work deals with the art object and how its visual and material qualities are transformed through its dispersion. For instance, how it is distributed through gallery expositions, online sites, archives and artwork titles.
Lets call my art dispersed objects. They are created in the context of a project that evolves over time, and they might become more and more dispersed through different events in galleries and online. What I call a dispersal practice is then an art practice that considers the distribution of art as integral to the making of art, as opposed to a distribution that happens after the artwork is finished.

Walter van Rijn (NL/UK)

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art object, dispersion, dispersal practice, distribution, institutionalisation, status of the art object, post-conceptual art, post-institutional critique, post-internet, digital, process, materiality, hybrid, ambiguous object, digital object, symbiosis, archive, aggregation, big data, and last but not least human rights

Artist, designer and researcher who’s work sits somewhere between art and design, and it is focussed on events through which art is made public. The exchange between context, art and viewers plays a central role in the installations, text, fonts and graphics, which display an unusual and speculative way of communicating.
Van Rijn proposes a dispersal art practice. An art practice that incorporates the distribution of art and the making of art. He creates art projects that evolve over time and art objects that are distributed through galleries, archives, off-site, online and in print.
His practice critiques the conventions of the art object, and questions the making and showing of art by using tactics such as aggregation and dispersal, modularity, embedding, symbiosis, hybridisation, and self-reliance. A cross media practice dispersed through audio, blogs, books, fonts, videos, websites, archives, exhibitions and public art. Recent work includes digital archives of artwork titles combined with Being Human, a human rights font. A speculative work about people and objects (re)directing a flow of art. Van Rijn received a PhD in Fine Art in 2015 from University of Southampton. https://waltervanrijn.wordpress.com


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Recent work and exhibitions include:

2018    Time After Time, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton UK. 08.09 – 03.11.2018

2018    Artist’s book A_Selection_Of. With text Archival Machinations by Jane Birkin and artwork based on the Exhibition Archive John Hansard Gallery.

2017     Jane Birkin & Walter van Rijn, To Perform: SO: To Speak, VVVR, 2017. Artist’s book.

2017     How Can You & I Ever Be Free In The 21stC. Performance with Jane Birkin @ SO: TO SPEAK festival of words, Southampton.

2017     #REDboard2017, RED Contemporary Arts, Hull. How Can You & I, Poster on Bill board 3x6m. Commissioned by Red Contemporary Arts. Funded by Hull, UK City of Culture.

2016    Unconsumable Global Luxury Dispersion, Hansard Gallery, UK. A research and archival project about the exhibition history of the gallery. Commissioned by the Hansard Gallery and supported by Arts Council England.

2016    Published BeingHuman, a font that creates hybrid and dispersed art objects.

2015    Telephone, an online collaboration with The Satellite Collective, New York. showing Off-Site Desert Showroom Superform{ance} On-Stage On-Line A Blue Cobra Collects Death Like (2013).

2014    Image-Text-Object: Practices of Research. Hartley Library Gallery L4, University of Southampton.

2013    Furtherfield Gallery: IRL exhibition 0P3NR3P0 as part of the Glitch Moment/ums. Showing audio and text based work A Artist St Artistff.

2012    Yes we’re open: Annlee @ NIMk project. Exhibition at the Netherlands Media Art Institute, Amsterdam, NL. Online and gallery based collaboration showing digital prints and audio at the last exhibition of the institute.

2012    (Im)Possible School Book: As Found. Contributed a version of the TITLE(date) project to the event and book (Im)possible School organised by Edward Dorrian, Project Space Five Years. This event formed part of the Tanks Summer School evenings at Tate Modern.

2009    SoundUnit Awarded public art commission, initiated by Rolls-Royce, Chichester District Council and University of Chichester. Large sculpture at the entrance of artOne building at University of Chichester.

2006    The Wormhole Saloon V. Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. Late Night Fridays: Adventures in music, performance and art showing Access Denied installation.


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