“Utopia Landfill or Vacation in the Age of Sad Passion”
New York, 49 Delancey Street
In his third exhibition at Callicoon Fine Arts, James Hoff resumes his interest in disarray caused by technological or analogical incompetence. Photographing the beautiful scenery of Adirondacks in the northeast of Upstate New York, Hoff seems to create romantic and fall-appropriate copper etchings on fiberglass, showcasing the area’s serene foliage.
This candid attempt however is only the surface of the artist’s inquisitive plan. Adirondacks, widely known as a “dead” zone in local and online communities, is an area with no or weak cellular service. Capturing these cellular-free landscapes employing a method traditionally used for making circuit boards, Hoff, whose previous works included experiments with computer viruses or jammed printers, both scrutinizes and celebrates rituals of communication—and blockage.
In his multidisciplinary practice, Hoff observes ways information is distributed, and obstructed, under manmade and electronic circumstances. While the line between digital and analog steadily weakens, the artist engages in multifaceted projects studying the turmoil generated by the clash between the body and the machine. Sarcastically titled Useless Landscapes series materializes this clash in a calm and contemplative fashion, disguising the artist’s playful narrative behind romantic landscapes where phones do not ring.
November 5 — December 23, 2016