Another check in with an old fave. In Kathleen Daniel's work we have the seeds of the Cool3DWorld aesthetic, planted 10 years early by (in her words) "a Native American Black Jew" living a post-hippie comedown in Hamburg. Her website is both terrible and wonderful and her work has been bouncing around Youtube since 2007. It may have been this early Rhizome interview that brought her to my attention back when she was still going by the name Silicious. I haven't looked at her work much since then, and then suddenly this year the Berlin Biennial included a great online retrospective of her work.
Like some of you who probably work in VFX, VR or motion graphics, Kathleen Daniel's work makes me flinch a little. But that flinch is worth thinking about. Why does it happen? Is it those slimy edits. body popping polygons and trippy narratives? Or is it the production values, the aesthetics or the "craft" (hate that word). Maybe we just don't understand her perspective.
Is this outsider art? In a way, yes, but a kind of software outsider art.
I love artists who operate in their own kind of tech archipelago, where forms and practices evolve within a different creative ecosystem. Some of this type of work is nominally NSFW.
Kathleen Daniels' work looks alien, but in fact we're visiting from an equally alien archipelago, the land of the infinite upgrade. Here, time is denser, media moves faster and everyone aligns like iron filings towards a true magnetic north of optimisation.
Try and approach Kathleen Daniel's work with the same curiosity you would on a trip to the Galapagos, whilst reminding yourself that you're a mutant too. Your god is progress. Why?