Training Camp

{Training_camp} by Rebecca Forstater

Nov 1 - Dec 2, 2023                                                                                                                                        Opening Reception: Friday, November 3, 5-7pm

{Training_camp} examines the creation of memory in the current AI rat race through the lens of pop-culture history. Focusing on Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake's Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy, I utilized emerging AI to create audio, image, video, and 3D models. I asked the training models to contextualize the past in the present moment.  

The outcomes of this process visualize an "average" memory, resulting from the compilation of extensive user data through the training of AI models. These visualizations take the form of peculiar amalgamations, riddled with errors, evoking an uncanny sense of the current digital era. They reveal fleeting instances of progress entangled with societal mistakes, constantly transforming into new iterations.

In this AI-generated universe, the narrative of this performance—an episode deeply entrenched in politics, sexism, and racism—serves as an example of digital social consciousness. It highlights the tendency to marginalize controversial aspects of history, where societal errors are conveniently overlooked without any sense of accountability.  While the body of work is created digitally, it exists in both digital and physical manifestations. Its .jpeg, .mp4, and .stl files inhabit this room as window decals, TV screens broadcasting videos, and 3D prints while also existing as a virtual environment accessible via the internet. These reproductions of one another contribute to the perpetual circulation and transformation of data and society, both on and offline.

Training Camp

About the Artist

Rebecca Forstater (she/they) is a South Carolina-based interdisciplinary artist whose work considers the production of current histories in digital landscapes. Featuring motifs of pop-culture banality, online community myth-making, and artificial transfiguration, Forstater’s work is presented through an aesthetic of lo-fi deepfake performances combining analog methodology and re-hashed digital videos reminiscent of half-remembered internet memes. Her distinct ironic appropriation of celebrity culture manifests in the visceral feeling of being torn between repulsion and familiarity. Through the outward-facing aesthetic of tacky luxury and cliched media narratives, Forstater questions whether we can trust our own desires in a screen-based world. 

Forstater received her MFA from Syracuse University and her BFA from James Madison University. Their work has been exhibited internationally and nationally with most recent shows at The Hangaram Design Museum (Seoul), Future Fair (NYC), PARADICE PALASE (NYC), Tiger Strikes Asteroid (Los Angeles), Unrequited Leisure (Nashville), Bunker Projects (Pittsburg), Governors Island (New York), Das Giftraum (Berlin). They have lectured internationally and have taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Syracuse University and Binghamton University. Currently, Forstater is an Assistant Professor of Studio Art at Wofford College and the Co-Chair of Grants, Scholarships, and Finance at the New Media Caucus.

Images taken by Rebecca Forstater, 2023.

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