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Valerie Hallier
brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights

ARTIST STATEMENT: Using multiple media from video to photographs, interactive media to beads, my work is conceptual, project based and often takes the form of installations. Through the collection and visualization of information, it explores the absurdity and the poetry within the process of exhaustive study. The overarching themes are the notion of portrait and self-portrait rendered in a contemporary context.

As a child, I was obsessed with the idea of drawing every single thing that exists in the world. Despite its naive quality, the feeling of embarking on this vast quest was so powerful that it still infuses my work today. The recurrent and consuming desire to catalog, up to the absurd, is a way to understand and order the world around me as well as interface with it. The systematization and hierachization that ensue can both help communicate (poetry) and alienate (absurdity).

Computer technology, like an extension of our brain, offers great tools to archive, organize, and visualize information, yet its limitations betray our own. I find the restrictions and the flaws of recent technologies to have aesthetical qualities and meanings that deny the perfection we want machines to emulate. They reconnect us with a sense of mystery tied to our human condition, especially as we are detaching ourselves further and further from the natural world.

I am interested in exploring the confrontation between the human and the technological. By way of practices and rituals like taking a picture a day, monitoring a building’s entrance, cataloging every object I own, or documenting long-distance conversations -- each project confronts intimate and subjective data with the mechanization of actions, the systematization of technology and the codifications of cognitive sciences.

By emulating the processes of technology and by working with it directly, my work aspires to render the systems and patterns that describe a contemporary character. The resulting portraits or self-portraits reveal in turn the intimately technological and the systematically human.


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