Every Waking Hour is Electric (2019)
Every Waking Hour is Electric is a three minute looping video which depicts a landscape, comprised entirely of GIFs, shifting from dawn to dusk in a compressed timeframe. Frequently circulated as internet memes, GIFs have become a uniquely contemporary art form predicated on shareability.
The piece recontextualizes GIFs as elements within a natural setting, with the warm glow of rising and setting sun mimicked by hundreds of flickering animations. It imagines a kind of post-natural world in which GIFs, as media which circulate online continuously emitting artificial light, become a stand-in for daylight. The fact that our circadian rhythms are manipulated by electric light is an intriguing platform for speculation—what, after all, is the demarcation point between natural and artificial environments? And, how fluidly might information move between them?
Culture is a two-image lenticular print. The piece maps the growth of the visual arts and popular music as two distinct images that spread like a bacterial growth in a petri dish. Moving chronologically from the center of the piece to the periphery, the piece explores the relationships and influences that have shaped art and music history.
Cultural systems like the arts and music are constructed out of memes, which evolve, replicate and spawn new forms in an ongoing cycle. The inherent parallels to the biological patterns of life forms like bacteria are intriguing in a speculative sense beyond the simple punning of the word culture, with its references to both the arts, customs and institutions and conditions suitable for growth, as in a cell culture. Are there new hybrid forms that might emerge from a comingling of the two meanings of the word? Is there a biological basis for cultural development? How might one translate a cultural meme into an organic form? The piece serves as a kind of speculative prototype for exploring these open-ended questions.
About the Artist
Tyler Bohm is a new media artist who spent several years working in the architectural industry, where he adopted the tools and techniques of digital and physical modeling to create digitally-inspired sculptural, video and hybrid works. The resulting process, which involves traditional approaches such as painting mediated through a range of design technologies, is reflective of the technological themes explored in the work. In recent years, he has participated in exhibitions at NURTUREart (Brooklyn), Cue Art Foundation (New York), Equity Gallery (New York), Boston Cyberarts Gallery, Terrault Contemporary (Baltimore), Icebox Project Space (Philadelphia), Trestle Gallery (Brooklyn), Weston Art Gallery (Cincinnati), Gallery Madison Park (New York), Proto Gallery (Hoboken, NJ), Plexus Projects (Brooklyn) and Ann Street Gallery (Newburgh, NY). His work has been covered in Two Coats of Paint, SciArt Magazine, E-Squared and Peripheral Vision Arts. He is a graduate of Kenyon College and Oxford University and lives in Columbus.