RJ Ward



RJ Ward has been working at the limits of visual and cognitive abstraction in new media art for more than a few decades, but it is his most recent pieces which directly address the geometry of perception. His use of geometric anamorphosis is a way of examining the intersection of self-perception, political perception, and social perceptions. In Ward’s hands, saturated geometric imagery unfolds in sequences accompanied by text that give us a direct connection with the psycho-synthesis of chromatic, genomic, and formal patterning. These images, in turn, are about the transcription of modalities of seeing in time, of experiencing through affect, and of touching on intimations of the virtual and the real in a way that asks us to dissolve our previous perceptions about how we encounter the word around us. 

One of the most interesting figures working today on post-anthropological ways of knowing, the use of the real-time imagery in Ward’s work is evocative of multiple levels of reality and perception, as well as how they collude, collide and even elide our common way of encountering reality. Instead, Ward’s morphologies want us to confront the intersection of abstract, representational, scientific, and cosmological ways of knowing which ask us to question the secure position of the cartesian subject. When we encounter Ward’s work we are put into the position of unknowing --- into a place of inerrant aesthetic phenomenon --- and which is coordinated in such a way that it marks Ward’s work as being on par with the most challenging and exciting new media artists today.

Bio: RJ Ward’s video works employ cinematic tropes as their raw working material, which are then transposed into various forms of real-time digital abstraction. Often alluding to lost horizons, targets, and vortexes, Ward's images appear to be in dialogue with painting and the moving image in equal measure. Playing with the erasure of many itinerant plot points, Ward's interventions harken back to experimental work done in the late 1960s and early 1970s that relied on manipulating celluloid images frame by frame. Only Ward has updated this approach to match the processes of the digital age, making his remediated montages a self-referential play of memes that have trafficked in the world of fine art and avant-garde cinema over the course of the last century. Ward’s single channel and installation works have been exhibited at the Los Angeles Municipal Gallery, Laguna Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Torrance Art Museum. He has taught media art at UC Irvine, UC San Diego and Foothill College.