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← The Incredulity of Jacolby Satterwhite | Art21 "New York Close Up"

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Showing Revision 1 created 02/05/2020 by Amara Bot.

  1. [SOUND OF DIAL-UP DATA MODEM]
  2. [THEME MUSIC FROM "FINAL FANTASY" PLAYS]
  3. [JACOLBY SATTERWHITE]
    When you have cancer, you're supposed to die.
  4. With modern technology,
    you're basically being resurrected.
  5. When I was a kid, I had cancer.
  6. When I was in the hospital,
    I played "Final Fantasy".
  7. Those were my escapisms during
    such a deep period of trauma.
  8. I can see that being my natural lexicon
    as a creator.
  9. Maybe I've been skeptical of my own
    mortality my whole life.
  10. I've been making things
    to make myself
  11. witness these objects
    and say that I'm still here.
  12. [AUDIO RECORDING OF SATTERWHITE'S MOTHER]
    --Moments of silence.
  13. So I originally went to Pioneer Works
    as a technology resident,
  14. to 3D print my mother's drawings
    of consumer objects.
  15. My mother's practice is like
    a gesso or a primer.
  16. It's basically the foundation
    for where I begin all ideas
  17. and how I perceive these ideas in the present.
  18. [AUDIO RECORDING OF SATTERWHITE'S MOTHER]
    --I apologize.
  19. [SINGING]
    ♪ I apologize for what I put you through... ♪
  20. [SATTERWHITE]
    She made 150 a cappellas
  21. that were kind of mimicking the traditional
    standard for Top 40 hits.
  22. The songwriting was a big component.
  23. It was something she would do
    in a mental hospital.
  24. It was something she would do at home.
  25. [SINGING CONTINUES]
    ♪ My life was crazy when I didn't understand... ♪
  26. [SATTERWHITE]
    Nick Weiss from Teengirl Fantasy,
  27. he and I spent around two years turning these
    raw a cappellas into an electronic dance record.
  28. Simultaneously, I was also
    making visuals for it,
  29. because I wanted to make
    a virtual reality album.
  30. I'm a Millenial with an addiction to
    Instagram and iPhone.
  31. I lean into it, use it as material,
  32. and try to make it tactile and poignant,
  33. and make it feel like skin.
  34. It's really loose and not premeditated.
  35. In a way, it's like finding
    really beautiful compositions with data language.
  36. The exhibit at Pioneer Works is
    embodying my work through different mediums,
  37. including sculpture, video,
  38. performance, and 3D animation.
  39. I was exploring how to make
    a sculpture world out of digital space.
  40. There are four cabinets that
    explore different themes
  41. that I have unmasked over the years:
  42. Sports,
  43. American dream paraphernalia,
  44. money,
  45. and pharmaceuticals.
  46. And so basically, it's just an abstract reaction
    to that culture.
  47. --It makes me feel like a video game character.
  48. --Like you could just play me and I walk around,
  49. --like a third-person Lara Croft shooter or
    something.
  50. --Oh my god, this is annoying.
  51. If you're doing everything by yourself,
  52. you don't know what it potentially can be.
  53. The potential of big ideas being
    delegated to a team
  54. that manifests something much greater
    than the individual hand.
  55. Coming here a lot and talking to the builders,
  56. curating the puzzle pieces
    that were on the floor,
  57. it's pushed me over the edge sometimes.
  58. It involved a lot of self reflection
    and self discovery,
  59. and a lot of self discipline.
  60. Working with the people here
    made me step up my game a little bit more.
  61. I've never been more excited about what new
    potential forms I can crack through.
  62. [MAN]
    --You're talking talking about the
    original renderings, right?
  63. [SATTERWHITE]
    --Yeah.
  64. --Oh, it is the right color.
  65. In the past ten years of my career,
  66. I've just been making things very open-endedly,
  67. using palettes from everywhere.
  68. I've been drawing the Doubting Thomas composition
    using myself as all the figures
  69. since I was in high school,
  70. which basically narrates the story of
    Jesus's resurrection
  71. and skepticism around his mortality.
  72. The ultimate metaphor about the piece is
    using ritual as a way to ground you.
  73. Like touching something that
    you're skeptical about
  74. to ground you that it's real.
  75. So making art, for me, is just a way
    to ground me,
  76. that I'm real.
  77. [RECORDED AUDIO OF SATTERWHITE'S MOTHER]
    ♪ Tell me how could it be, ♪
  78. ♪ I don't know whatever. ♪
  79. ♪ How did I get here in this place? ♪
  80. ♪ Tell me how could it be, ♪
  81. ♪ I don't know whatever. ♪
  82. ♪ How did I end up in this way? ♪
  83. [SATTERWHITE]
    Having a public practice that
  84. circulates in galleries and museums
  85. is vulnerable because you're
    publicly archiving yourself
  86. in ways that you may not feel
    are flattering in the future.
  87. It's a masochistic performance gesture,
    to say the least.
  88. Successfully creating is the art of
    being willing to embarrass yourself.
  89. I took that to heart.
  90. God, I was just being embarrassing for a decade!
  91. [LAUGHS]
  92. [RECORDED AUDIO OF SATTERWHITE'S MOTHER]
  93. My mother's death three years ago
    had a huge impact on me.
  94. It really brought in the act of
    ritual a lot more,
  95. and made me focus on themes of
    regeneration, healing, and resurrection.
  96. Art became a form of escapism
  97. for me to reroute my personal traumas.
  98. And now I think I'm trying to pursue something
    more...
  99. ...present.
    More mindful.
  100. Trying to search for where
    home is for me now.
  101. Trying to get to the core of who I am.
  102. [RECORDED AUDIO OF SATTERWHITE'S MOTHER]
    ♪ We will go on ♪
  103. ♪ to another place in time. ♪