Zach Nader, “family vacation/02”, 2013, ink-jet print, 8 x 8”, copyright & courtesy the artist

this is our house / this is our rules / and we can’t stop
Jeff Donaldson | Holly Graves | Luca Leggero | Kevvy Metal | Zach Nader
opening reception Saturday September 14, 6-9pm

Microscope Gallery is very pleased to launch its fourth year with this is our house / this is our rules / and we can’t stop, a group exhibition of five emerging artists whose varied practices intersect in their interest in electronic media from social networks and other technological platforms and devices. The photographic images, installations, and video on view from Jeff Donaldson, Holly Graves, Luca Leggero, Kevvy Metal, and Zach Nader each involve appropriated, manipulated, or hacked media transformed from the original content and purpose to underline and challenge notions of privacy, surveillance, ownership, and property in a wired-in world.

Zach Nader’s “family vacation” series – digital collage images derived from actual photos publicly posted by Flickr users and tagged as such – by its very existence emphasizes the loss of control implicit in the act of online sharing and draws attention to the potentially unlimited audience for our “personal” lives. Holly Graves takes an opposite approach, symbolically reclaiming her privacy and her home as a place of refuge in her “Home” series of photographic images made from screen shots captured through Google Street View of places where she has lived. While Kevvy Metal subtly combines custom animations from Google’s 3D Warehouse and altered internet porn with his own images in his animated video “U No U Wnt to Kiss ME” to present the home as a voyeuristic command center from which one is simultaneously and constantly both the observer and the observed.

In “MTPO PRG ROM,” Jeff Donaldson reminds us of the ultimately temporary nature of copyright and intellectual domain. The pattern knit on his 5 by 6 foot glitch textile work is the code comprising the program ROM data for the classic Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Luca Leggero’s “Untitled (Party Light)”, a light installation, offers the straightforward and direct. The smartphone playing a current app used by rave partygoers generating flashing colors is presented simply as art object.

Together the works raise questions about the changing nature of home and family, the costs of our desire for connection and instant access, and the blurring of the public and private realms. It is with this spirit that the title of the exhibition was chosen as actual lyrics of a current, and now notorious, pop song by Miley Cyrus.


Works in exhibition


JEFF DONALDSON is a Brooklyn-based new media & glitch artist originally from Corpus Christi, Texas. Donaldson pioneered the practice of preparing video hardware to intentionally short circuit (notendo, 2001). He has exhibited and performed internationally including at Museum of the Moving Image; Museu de Arte Moderna Rio De Janeiro; The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, UK; Leap, Berlin; White Box; 319 Scholes; Art in General, Eyebeam; Chip Music Festival; vertexList; PLANETART, Amsterdam; and iMAL, Brussels among many others.

HOLLY GRAVES is a young artist from Seattle, Washington and currently a graduate student in Pratt Institute’s Master of Fine Arts program. She primarily works with printmaking, collage, digital photos and internet images. Her works explore the connections and ties that are cultivated over time to real estate and houses.

LUCA LEGGERO is an Italian media artist and musician. Recent works focus on the alternative and improper use of mobile devices, including audio and video performances, music compositions and installations. He has recently exhibited or performed at Foundazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice; Galleria Studio Gennai, Pisa; Transmediale, Berlin; Museo del Vetro, Empoli, Museo Villa Croce, Genoa; Microscope Gallery, Brooklyn. He is also a member of Italian multi-media collective and avant-POP, hack-rock, proto-noise, indie rock band MAIS.

KEVVY METAL is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker, media artist, and curator born in Western New York. He graduated in 2012 from Boston University in Film and Philosophy. He is also a co-founder of the VHS tape publication MONOBROW.  

ZACH NADER is a Brooklyn-based artist originally from Dallas, Texas. He has recently exhibited and/or screened at Interstate Projects, Eyebeam, Jen Bekman Gallery, NURTUREart, Microscope Gallery, and Signal in New York City; at Yaffo 23 in Jerusalem; and at the Channels Video Art Festival in Melbourne, Australia among others. Nader is featured in the September/October issue of Photograph Magazine. He graduated with an MFA from Texas Tech in 2011.

Holly Graves, “4754”, 2013, ink-jet print, 29 x 21 inches (detail), copyright & courtesy the artist


Luca Leggero, “Untitled (party light)”, 2013, smartphone light installation, copyright & courtesy the artist

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