Thomas Robertello Gallery is pleased to present Stream, the gallery’s second solo exhibition of work by New York-based artist John Delk. Stream is an installation of obsessive accumulations; indexical lists of data, news stories, material and conceptual minutiae darkly posing questions related to identity and flux.
Delk turns digitally recorded data, banal experience, headlines, activity, measurements of time, and detailed observation into materially low-brow mirrors of consciousness. Active self-defining becomes a gateway to understanding the humble ways in which one comes to terms with limitations in a technological and political context. John Delk, 2009 utilizes the binary code from an audio file of the artist saying his own name to create a self-portrait as a list of thousands of zeros and ones. The specificity of the code connotes genetic composition and individuality as a complexly organized but finite set of components.
Stream, 2009 is a thirty-two foot scroll of laboriously hand-typed headlines on fax paper. An avalanche of information from the past five years concentrated into one sentence, Stream dissolves original meaning and intent into a palimpsest through Delk’s virulent process. Among other works in this exhibition of video and sculpture, Self as a Measurement of Time, 2009 is an altered analog flip-clock from the 1970s indicating the number of hours the artist has been alive. Another work incorporates 1358 small portraits from the Wall Street Journal; a fragmented who’s who which like most of Delk’s work, meditates on the unsettling illusion of primacy and permanence of self and civilization.