In No-Fi (No Fidelity) artists Lori Felker, Jesse Seay, and Sebura&Gartelmann (Jonas Sebura and Alex Gartelmann) investigate the spectrums of craft and technical proficiency while practicing restraint or employing alternative methods in their modes of production. The presented works possess a counterculture ethos with a healthy dose of punk and DIY aesthetics.
Felker frustrates herself and the viewer in a Sisyphean new multimedia work based on the 1980s television show “Win, Lose, or Draw.” This piece is shown alongside a series of eerily altered family photos from Felker’s childhood. These reconstructed construction paper assemblages stir feelings of nostalgic unrest and rouse consideration of domestic dynamics.
Seay has created a uniquely hybrid production model which defies use-value and rejects gender norms. She hacks knitting machines and uses them to create functional knitted circuits. By making her wearable e-textile (a.k.a. soft circuit) patterns open source, she hopes to build bridges between the largely female knitting community and the male-dominated field of electronics. This overlap seeks a dialogue between what is traditionally men’s versus women’s work. Seay presents a quilt of machine-knit circuit boards, communally soldered at the Chicago makerspace, Pumping Station: One.
In their collaboration, Sebura&Gartelmann challenge each other to approach unfamiliar making and building practices while still attempting high levels of material craftsmanship and equipment fluency. The resulting works speak conceptually to intimacy, struggle, persistence, and social constructs of masculinity. Their installation will feature a new video work, interacting portraits in the round, sculptures that reference vernacular architecture, and an opening night performance on wheels.
Intentionally disarming, the works featured in No-Fi exist in the limbo between youthful counterculture and reluctant adulthood. Sometimes humorous, often sad, these artists demonstrate that sincerity and anarchy are not mutually exclusive.
Curated by Erin Toale
Lori Felker is an artist/filmmaker whose work focuses on the ways in which we process, share and disseminate information, via screens, dreams, gestures, games, and dialogue. By employing and pushing these structures, she attempts to study the ineloquent, oppositional, delusional, frustrating, and chaotic qualities of human interaction.
Lori works in a variety of mediums and has shown her work internationally at festivals and spaces including- the Rotterdam International Film Festival; NYFF: Views from the Avant-Garde; VideoEx, Zurich; Ann Arbor Film Festival; Festival du Nouveau Cinema, Montreal; Curtas Vila do Conde Film Festival, Portugal; Glass Curtain Gallery, Chicago; LA Filmforum; BAMcinemaFest, Brooklyn; Space Gallery, Pittsburgh. She is an Illinois Arts Council Artists Grant recipient, a Wexner Center Artist in Residence and a Fulbright Fellow. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois Chicago.
Jesse Seay is an artist and professor in the Audio Arts & Acoustics program at Columbia College Chicago. She holds an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MA from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her sculpture has shown at the Hyde Park Art Center, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Chicago Children's Museum, and is on permanent display at the University of Chicago. Her current practice uses knitting machines to manipulate traditional electronics into complex systems that function both as textile and as working circuitry.
Sebura&Gartelmann is the collaborative of Jonas Sebura and Alex Gartelmann. The pair has been working together since 2010. Their work has been included in exhibitions at NADA Miami, Carrie Secrist Gallery (Chicago, IL), UICA (Grand Rapids, MI), 2739 Edwin (Hammtramck, MI), John Michael Kohler Art Center (Sheboygan, WI), and The Charlotte Street Foundation (Kansas City, MO).
Erin Toale is an artist, advocate, writer and curator who works to make contemporary art accessible to and enjoyable for all audiences. She earned Dual MAs in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism and Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013, and a BFA in 2D and 3D Fine Arts from Moore College of Art and Design in 2006. She has worked with a variety of non-profits, galleries and research centers including the Seattle Art Museum, the Rebuild Foundation, the Social Impact of the Arts Project, the Society for Contemporary Art and the Sullivan Galleries at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently a HATCH Projects Resident Curator at the Chicago Artists Coalition and a contributing writer for Newcity. She makes art about buildings, words, and people.
No-Fi is part of Chicago Artists Month 2014, the 19th annual celebration of Chicago’s vibrant art community presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. For more information, visit www.chicagoartistsmonth.org.