Lesartefact: For the digital collages in the series Pure Bodily Aesthetic you collect online fragments of "what is often considered abject, distasteful and shameful about or bodies". In a digital world where everything we see online can be filtered by our own choices, is this mode of collecting an act of preservation or awareness?
Lapadat-Janzen: In some ways "Pure Bodily Aesthetic" is an archive of parts of the body that are accessible through google images over the last 2 years. I used keywords to find the images but did not leave out any image that fit what I was looking for (namely large images of specific body parts). I did sometimes use keywords to find different skin tones because a lot of the images I found were of white people when I used general keywords. I wish I had kept a list of the keywords because some of them were pretty funny.
L: It's interesting that you utilized the abilities and limitations of a large data platform such as Google to act as a machinic collaborator of sorts. Since you did not deny any relevant image the search engine presented, would you say the platform contributed to the authorship?
LJ: Oh 100%, I also found it problematic in the images that came up with the general keywords; namely that they were mainly white bodies.
L: Information filtered to a particular race is definitely problematic. What do you think this discrepancy between keywords and subsequent lack of racial diversity by the search engine exposes about society?
LJ: I think the internet is often like a reflection of societies collective brain, and this hive mind mirrors how normative it is to default to white when talking about people and their bodies.
L: In some works, the fragments are cut by hard boundaries and float amongst each other autonomously. In others, the fragments are blended together in such a manner that it creates its own bodily surface. Can you elaborate on the purpose of these stylistic choices?
LJ: For the stylistic choices behind how I chose to either blend or leave the images with hard edges, if comes down to the body parts aesthetic qualities. "Pure Bruise Aesthetic" has blended edges because the bruises themselves have blurred edges, and float amid the skin. "Pure Fat Aesthetic" has sharp well defined edges because the body parts used often had edges. I tried to stay true to the body part I was representing; I tried to let the images happen intuitively.
L: The website purebodilyaesthetic.com is a very captivating animated rendition of your collages. How do the mediums of print media combined with digital media contribute to your vision of the project?
LJ: Thank you. I tried to make the project as accessible to view in various forms as possible. I made large scale prints for the gallery, an art book, the website (made by the talented Melissa Hubert) and I even made a fat blanket. I think that this allows for the viewer to have different experiences and relationships with the work.
L: It seems you are not only collecting body parts but also collating the various modes of experience the viewer's own body can have when presented to an artwork. Has your practice always been interdisciplinary?
LJ: In university I mainly concentrated on painting though towards the end of my degree I started doing net/media art. My practice now includes making books, videos, gifs, digital collage, objects and photoshopped images. I also model and play around with photos sometimes and I still paint now and then as an outlet.
Lesartefact.com engages in a conversation with the Vancouver based artist, Erica -Lapadat Janzen discussing the conception executionof her latest solo exhibiton at Sweet Pup Studios titled Pure Bodily Aesthetic.
Robert Anderson opens the inquisitive discussion with the artist and here is what we uncovered.
Provided By Robert Anderson