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Where is the Eternal Expanse? Artist Interviews
Name: Katie Torn
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Presented works: View Katie's works here
Astrological sign: Taurus
Most recently used emojis:
How long have you been showing artwork on the internet?
Around 11 years. In 2007 I was really obsessed with fake youtube personas. My favorite was
Daxflame. I uploaded some of my own videos starring a character called stickergirlie, a reference to greenteagirlie. Stickergirly was the first time I used myself in an art piece. My current aesthetic and the types of characters I use in my animations really stemmed from this first attempt to make something inspired by the youtube community.
What about exhibiting online interests you?
I like that my work reaches people that aren’t necessarily interested in fine art or “experimental”
animation. Your work can float between communities and genres. I’ve had my animations added to playlists called “videos for party” lol. I like to imagine that somewhere on the other side of the planet, people are hanging out with my videos playing around them as décor and my imagery is seeping into their subconscious. Also, I am in awe of artists that sell their work directly to fans online. You see a lot of that on Instagram. It makes the gallery system seem so arcane, and that makes me feel good because it gives more power and agency to artists.
All artists have been asked to contribute two works for this exhibition. How do your works relate to one another? Is there a specific point of entry or reference that inspired these pieces?
Both pieces are inspired by the natural phenomena of low tide and use grotesque and childlike
imagery to explore its perils. The poem, which was written by Edna St. Vincent Millay in 1921 is more concrete in its description of the phenomena, where as my video piece is using low tide as a metaphor for the current time we live in.
Is there a pop culture reference that illustrates or inspires these worlds?
In the wake of countless unpleasant realities, do you see escapism and fantasy as critical tools that can allow us to better understand the present?
If used right, I think escapism and fantasy can create spaces where people feel comfortable
confronting the taboo and gain perspective. But it can also be a slippery slope leading to oblivion
especially when paired with technology. I’m interested in fantasy’s seductive quality but my end goal is subversion.
Leon Battista Alberti theorized that painting should act as a window to the world. Can the screen act as a portal to worlds unknown?
Yes definitely, especially when the screen is used to connect people. It makes me think of open-ended online video games where players are creating new worlds in real time. Personally, the screen has allowed me to create my own universe that could not exist in any other format. My forms are inherently digital. Even if they are sometimes outputted as prints or incorporated into physical artwork, their creation happens in a screen space.
What are other themes or formats have you been exploring in your work as of late?
I’m developing my beach obsession into a very loose narrative animation about a character that goes on a yoga retreat. I’ve also been messing around with the Sims 4 lately, more for fun than anything else, and have been delving into the Sims roleplaying Instagram community. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it yet, but I do want to incorporate it into an animation project sometime soon.
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