“Give them a kilobyte and they’ll take a gig.” That’s a tweet from artist and visual storyteller Carla Gannis, which is a perfect metaphor for her work. Gannis translates historical concepts and transforms them into new ideas that engage on digital levels, showcasing plenty of wit all the while. Gannis is a featured speaker in the Visiting Artists & Critics series, and will give a free, public lecture on Thursday, November at GOCA 121 in downtown Colorado Springs.
Gannis is from North Carolina, although she now lives and works in the digital and artistic hub that is New York. She first began incorporating technologies into her work in the late 1990s, and has received widespread attention as a “transmedia” artist ever since. Her work has been featured in over 20 solo exhibitions and many group exhibitions, displaying her unique perspective on digital arts.
“The extension of this sensibility with computer-based applications is only natural to me as a reflection upon the Digital Age in which we all coexist,” Gannis explains in her artist statement. Her style includes a wide range of influences, from videos games, to art history, and everywhere in between. She identifies herself as a “digital storyteller,” which means she “narrates through a “digital looking glass” where reflections on power, sexuality, marginalization, and agency often emerge.
A great embodiment of her work is her reconstruction of Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, in which she replaces themes present in the famous, historical piece to reflect a more digital and modern age, known as the Garden of Emoji Delights. The emoji filled realms of Eden, Earth, and Hell give the work a breath of fresh air and “redefine identity.”
You can hear Gannis speak more to these themes during her November 5 lecture. Though free, seating is limited and registration required for the chance to hear and interact with Gannis. For a chance to experience Gannis’ Garden of Emoji Delights, check out the BEYOND the BEYOND exhibition on view at GOCA 121 November 6 through December 19, 2015.