DIY: Proposition Catalog | Opening on Wednesday, March 2 @7pm

Luke Rogers is currently a Harriet Hale Woolley Fellow at the Fondation des États-Unis in Paris France. The Exhibition will run from 2 March- 31 March, 2016.

Luke Rogers is an artist from New Haven, Connecticut. He recently completed the Painting and Printmaking MFA program at Yale University, where he was awarded the Al Held Travel Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome during the summer of 2015. He completed his BFA in Painting at Boston University’s College of Fine Art in 2012. That year he was a Stephen D. Paine Award finalist. As a Woolley Fellow he will be continuing his studio practice in Paris, where he will be researching the work and writings of André Breton, André Masson, Georges Bataille, and Francis Picabia. He is interested in the surrealists’ use of technological processes to generate new kinds of images. Rogers situates his work within this history of painting as technology and the ways in which technological processes can condition new ways of seeing the everyday. He is currently a Harriet Hale Woolley Fellow at the Fondation des États-Unis in Paris France.

A quick Wikipedia search will tell you that DIY is the “method of building, modifying, or repairing something without the direct help of experts or professionals.” Marketing theory describes it as behavior in which “individuals engage raw or semi-raw materials and component parts to produce, transform, or reconstruct material possessions.” Today, “mod’ing”, jury-rigging, and “life hacking” all embody the do it yourself mentality in an attempt to give common products like hoses, dustpans, pingpong balls, and batteries extended or unintended uses.

In DIY: Proposition Catalog, Luke Rogers’ paintings question the virtual by looking back to Denis Diderot’s Encyclopédie, first published in France in 1751. The Encyclopédie aimed to collect and summarize human knowledge in a variety of fields and topics, notably on the technologies of the period. Diderot hoped to give everyone access to “useful” knowledge that they could apply to their everyday lives.

Using SketchUp, a free modeling software, Luke Rogers makes drawings of proposed camera obscura installations, in which the traditional exterior projected onto an interior wall scenario is reversed. Within these labyrinth structures, objects and their inverted projections alternate between rooms, blurring the line between what is real and what is projected; what is material and what is just light. Sourced from youtube DIY videos, the situations depict “useful” life hacks and tricks in which objects and effects act in unexpected ways, such as how to zig zag a stream of water using sound waves. The proposed camera obscuras project these situations back out into space as events to encounter.
The paintings are propositional in that they propose unrealized installations while posing questions of perception and reality: the ability to see something and represent it. Using screens to create optically mixed color, the paintings’ surfaces allude to the white spaces of Diderot’s diagrams as places for virtual projection and contemplation. The paintings propose an imagined, tactile maipulation of things as a powerful mode of correlation.
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