In the cracks between terror and optimism, pixels blossom.

The creative process can be terrifying and often requires an unrealistic amount of optimism—like jumping off a cliff and hoping you’ll grow wings. For Oakland-based alex cruse, this dialectical opposition of terror and optimism fuels her practice as a writer, educator, and interdisciplinary artist.

The videos and digital images featured here act as viral articulations of biological and digital representations manifest in the various realities in which we exist—physical, metaphysical, virtual, digital. The title of cruse’s video VIRUS IN PARADISE can be applied to each of the other untitled pieces through the overarching theme of the contagion: corruption spreads through the interconnected wires of capitalism; boredom spreads through the bodiless pixels of virtual reality.

cruse infuses the inhuman digital with intuition, combining randomized interactions of layers and language until the program implodes and she can reconfigure the rubble into a new code to be deciphered. At the root of her practice lies a tension: “how to reveal a revolutionary capacity in works that are tenants on capitalism’s 4D landscape?” Her question stems from dissatisfaction with the current options for escaping the regulation of mental/spatial/bodily/affective processes, as well as an appreciation for the artists and writers identifying and critiquing the status quo.

—Amelia Rina, Art Editor


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