Syncretism, 2017
Digital collage

Syncretism combines images from 14 artists who participated in UW–Madison's Fall 2017 Visiting Artists Colloquium. Using databending techniques borrowed from Glitch Art, in which digital files were reduced to binary code, jumbled, and reconfigured, the resulting composite image speaks to the radical formal pluralism and hybrid practices that characterize contemporary artmaking; rendering hyper-visible the digital mediation of artworks presented throughout the colloquium series. For example, despite the vast diversity in process, material, subject matter, and style, each artist lecture was marked by the following dynamic: an artist was physically present while their works remained absent; presented on-screen as digital images. Syncretism highlights this evident hypermediacy as a testament to the fact that most viewers will come to know an artist's work through its documentation. A limited RGB palette further references these screen-based display methods. Ultimately, Syncretism raises several questions: Where is the artwork located? What is gained/lost in the process of documentation? And if "everything goes," does nothing, as well?