“Year Zero” traces net art pioneer and video game designer Auriea Harvey’s career from the late 1990s to now, marking the turn of the millennium and its attendant predictions of promise and disaster.
The solo show—her first at Bitforms Gallery—showcases Harvey’s practice of mixing realities as she combines video game software, webcam broadcasts, drawing, and sculpture, both digital and physical. Sketchbook Videos (1990-2010) provides insight into her long-standing process of recording and observing. The videos show Harvey turning the pages of her notebooks to offer a personal history of her artistry as she flips through images of collage, poetry, photography, sculpture, and drawing. A similar kind of historiography is at work in her 1999 piece Webcam Movies, which plays on loop on an obsolete Dell monitor. The screen displays a recording of the artist at work, perpetually online, intercut with broken lines of code. The frames offer a look at early digital culture and a burgeoning net art environment, which Harvey in no small way helped shape.
Auriea Harvey, Polyphemau (maquette), 2020. 3D printed composite (PLA plastic, tear-cotta), self-hardening terra-cotta clay, acrylic, muslin, 4.7 x 3.2 x 4.3 inches. Courtesy bitforms gallery, New York. Photo: Emile Askey.