Open: Kevin, 2019
I was planning for these inquiries to be three or four person exhibitions; however, after a few glitches trying to synchronise artists from all corners of the globe—and a little bit too much time to ponder (a.k.a. fret)—the concept morphed into an inquiry of a single artwork by a single artist. Nonetheless, like most things in life, this turned out to be a fortunate frustration, because in the same way that the Internet has (in)famously made the private public, Christopher Clary’s art
The revival of vinyl, cassette, film photography, and the bicycle—which are ironically now more synonymous with millennials than baby boomers or Gen X’s—questions the assumption that the digital represents clear technological progress. Over the last decade, this rift—between
Open: Kevin is a continuation of Christopher’s measured immersion into his personal porn collection—particularly Kevin, who makes up almost a third of the assortment. Kevin is a serialisation project that questions the notion that the online is somehow less real than the ‘real’, or that online interactions are devoid of emotions, as Christopher’s fascination with Kevin turned into a ‘real’-life manhunt, which ultimately resulted in a (digital) memorial in the form of a zip file when he was informed that Kevin had passed away. This personal exploration leaks some understanding about (online) interactions, even if they are sometimes one-sided and masked by an alias. Having to learn how to mourn someone he only ever engaged with online, even if this engagement was one-sided, exposes how the people we interact with—either through multiplayer gaming, forums, amateur porn, or social media—are ‘real’. Somewhere, on the other side of an undersea cable, is another human. The digital and the Internet isn’t a cold, dead, and sterile terrain, as opposed to the apparently warm and lively feel of analogue or ‘real’-life, nor is it post-Internet apocalyptic pessimism; rather, instead of being polar opposites, the three are indistinguishably entangled. In the same way that analogue is a direct precursor of digital, the ultimate concerns of human existence form the ultimate foundations of the Internet. It is here, in this discreet place, where Christopher seeks to understand fundamental truths about himself, the world around him, and his relationship to the world and the objects (and the Kevins) within it.
Open: Kevin is an application saved onto a used DVD with Kevin’s name carved into it. The application can be downloaded here.
Download Java. Right click on Kevin.jar and select Open. Play around [and hack it] and break it.
The application uses pornographic images. It will run in perpetuity, which may cause a memory leak and freeze your computer. To quit the application, use the cancel button, force quit, or power off.
Who the hell is Christopher Clary?
Christopher Clary is an artist, curator, and author from New Jersey, United States of America.
Support the artist
Open: Kevin—a limited edition of 50 damaged DVDs, with jewel case—can be purchased from Christopher’s website.