Emit Snake-Beings

  • 5 Nov - 24 Nov, 2009

Incarnate: The [in]complete moving image works of Karen Karnak 1991-2009 

Karen Karnak came into existence of multiple parents on the 13th May 2009. In a few short moments she has learnt to create art, that is, of course, if you consider this collection of random images and sound equal to that esteemed title. From this early start of multiple origins there was no going back; the complex narrative of the body of work forms the manifestation, which we shall call Karen Karnak. Karnak works with many hands, many eyes and attempts to escape the confines of a fixed identity using multiple foot shuffles. Her biogenetic origins can be traced to a break out from the labs, a failed experiment involving a MediaWiki website and the transgenic creation of a centipede chicken; and as such, you will find, her work is both multi-faceted and bland to the taste.

The work:

Typical of her abstract choice of career Karen Karnak is investing heavily in the doctrines of the Cult of the Dead-light bulb and their technique of "acquiring objects without conscious effort". This strategy has proven fruitful in the production of the work you see and hear today and a string of public events including the Aotearoa Digital Arts symposium in Wellington this year. The collection of work presented here represents Karnak's "plastic arts" analogue super 8 films made between the years 1991 and 2009. Critics often profess that her work is before her time and this, it must be admitted, is virtually true [ see biog for details]. What the critics say: The Hollywood director Allan Smithee once said that her filmic images "present a coherent representation of the fragmentation of subjectivity". Foucault called her "A plurality of egos" a comment based on his own theoretical framework, whilst Stuart Home, a close associate of both Karen Eliot and Luther Blissett, called her irresponsible. As for the work please observe for yourselves. To assist in your interactions please use the selector switch to change sound channels; the game is to guess which sound relates to which image; there are no right answers [+ all is permitted]. We are all Karen Karnak!

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