Jillian Mayer: Precipice/Postmodem at Locust Projects

If there is such a thing as virtual reality, Jillian Mayer has wrangled it into a packaged experience worthy of the most complex digitized environments available anywhere (and everywhere). Locust Projects, true to its mission of providing experimental forms of art to the local community and support for the artists invited to participate, has presented an impressive collection of performances and multi-media installations that captures Mayer’s fascination with the way human beings act and react within a world increasingly reliant on digital technology. In effect, Mayer asks: if the world we live in is structured and enhanced using ephemeral code and electrical signals, whose brain is doing the work? Ours or the computerized being? The fractured digital domain is one that is simultaneously problematic, at times ethically fraught, but enjoyable and desirable.

Standout works include fully interactive experiences such as A Place for Online Dreaming (2013) and RGB Box (2013). The first allows the audience to bundle up in sleeping bags arranged in the gallery space; on a prepared website (aplaceforonlinedreaming.com), they may tweet or log their dreams which appear in real-time aided by customizable music and projected images of dreamcatcher charms as they sleep (and are witnessed sleeping). The second simulates the frenzied bursts of color one might find in a garbled television transmission. Instead of simply watching such an event, the audience is invited to enter a glass box where large fans generate swirling bursts of red, blue and green confetti; it is as if the participant were actually receiving sensory hints of what such a signal might feel or be like. 

Jillian Mayer is a Cuban-American artist living in Miami. Her video Scenic Jogging (2010) was one of the 25 selections for the Guggenheim’s Youtube Play: A Biennial of Creative Video and was exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy; Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain; and Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, Germany.  Recent solo projects include Family Matters at David Castillo Gallery, Miami (2011), Love Trips at World Class Boxing, Miami (2011), and Erasey Page at the Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach (2012). Mayer is currently at work on an artist book to be released by [name] Publications and on a solo show at Locust Projects (Miami) in 2013, for which the gallery received a Harpo Foundation grant. Her video works have been screened at international galleries, museums and film festivals such as SXSW and Sundance. She was recently featured in Art Papers and in ArtNews discussing identity, Internet and her artistic practices and influences.  Mayer is a recipient of the prestigious South Florida Cultural Consortium's Visual/Media Artists Fellowship (2011), Cintas Foundation Fellowship (2012), and was named as one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine. She has been awarded the Elsewhere Residency as a NEA Southern Constellation Fellow and the Zentrum Paul Klee Fellowship in Bern, Switzerland for 2013. In 2014, Mayer will present a solo show at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts as part of the Salt Series. Mayer is represented by David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL.

Locust Projects is located in the Miami Design District: 3582 North Miami Avenue, Miami, FL. Tel: 305.576.8570. Open Tuesday through Saturday 12pm to 5pm and by appointment.