Updated Artist Statements

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Ren Adams
Artist Statement
Exhibition Catalog Version

The Cascade – Moments in the Televisual Desert

Rooted in a personal connection to Southern California, which permeates American television from the 1960s-80s, I hunt, excavate and deploy conceptual instances of the Mojave Desert and its entanglement with the real, the vividly scripted and the culturally iconic. Mediated by television, Los Angeles County becomes mercurial, behaving as stage and script, environment and blueprint—a mythic, cultural hunting ground. In this telescoping space, landscape conflates time and memory, location and topography, television and reality.

The Cascade – Moments in the Televisual Desert engages this TV-inflected landscape as an interdisciplinary installation: a hot-and-cool mosaic that asks viewers to seek, receive and connect. Using semi-narrative focused on suspension in the moment, I compress the essence of site into a meta-narrative of television itself, where loops suggest watching and remembering. Populated by a vulnerable recast of heroes engaged in a kind of primal forensics, an endless hunt plays out across layered, time-compressed paintings, through active, audio-infused videos, and via dreamlike digital montage. Viewers (and characters) investigate this anxious environment, bouncing between media, events and their realizations. There is a pervading sense of déjà vu—such that television becomes its own self-haunting memory. The environments thus inhabit the actual, the imagined, and the transient place of recollection, a collapsed space conflating personal history, topography and cultural production.


Ren Adams
Artist Statement
The Cascade – Moments in the Televisual Desert
Alternate Version (13.3)

‘Landscape’ is an active site of occurrence—a platform of media-influenced exchange. Reflected through televisual language, it offers a relative experience, tied to our sense of geography, time and shifting notions of history. The Cascade – Moments in the Televisual Desert engages TV-inflected landscape as a permeating condition. In this telescoping space, landscape conflates time and memory, location and topography, television and reality.

Rooted in a personal connection to the Southern California landscape which permeates American television from the 1960s-80s, I hunt, excavate and deploy instances of the conceptual space-place of the Mojave Desert and its entanglement with the real, the vividly scripted and the iconic. Mediated by television, Los Angeles County becomes mercurial, behaving as stage and script, environment and blueprint—a mythic, cultural hunting ground.The Cascade seizes this instability as an interdisciplinary installation: a hot-and-cool mosaic that asks the viewer to seek, receive and connect.

Using semi-narrative focused on suspension in the moment, I compress the essence of sites into a system of surface-screens—a meta-narrative of television itself, where loops suggest watching and remembering. Populated by a vulnerable recast of heroes engaged in a kind of primal forensics, an endless hunt plays out across layered, time-compressed paintings, through active, audio-infused videos, and via dreamlike digital montage.  Viewers (and characters) investigate the anxious environment, bouncing between media, events and their realizations. There is a pervading sense of déjà vu—such that television becomes its own self-haunting memory. The environments thus inhabit the actual, the imagined, and the transient place of recollection, a collapsed space conflating personal history, topography and cultural production.

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