My sculptural and digital works depict rhizomatic connections between consumerism, reality television, fame, politics, and user-generated content. I take current and past inextricably violent interactions with technology, deconstruct them to their most basic elements, and rearrange them in ways that are as illogical as their existence in everyday life. These exchanges both in real life and in my work go from fact to fiction to actuality to virtual to utopia to dystopia to aspirational to nightmarish to dreams to reality as they circulate through the digital experience. Moments of believability in my objects, videos, and installations are interjected with absurdity and humor in the convergence of sentimentality and fear as they examine sociocultural conditions.
My practice situates me as an investigator of the average Internet user, picking out moments that question social and political implications of digital experiences through the extraction of content, recreations, and mashups. This methodology indicates potentials of technology that are both inhibited and exploited by the overwhelming failures of society. The created objects and digital elements step behind the facades of screen experiences to visualize the things that are structurally supporting their existence: politics, late-stage capitalist interests, parasocial relationships with celebrities, and social systems of control.
Rebecca Forstater (b. 1989 in Alexandria, Virginia) is a South Carolina-based interdisciplinary artist whose work considers the production of current histories in digital landscapes. Featuring motifs of pop-culture banality, online community myth-making, and artificial transfiguration, Forstater’s work is presented through an aesthetic of lo-fi digital reenactments combining analog methodology and re-hashed videos reminiscent of half-remembered internet memes. Her distinct ironic appropriation of cringe and celebrity culture manifests in the visceral feeling of being torn between repulsion and familiarity. Through the outward-facing aesthetic of tacky luxury and cliched media narratives, Forstater questions whether we can trust our own desires in a screen-based world.
Forstater received her MFA from Syracuse University and her BFA from James Madison University. Their work has been exhibited internationally and nationally with most recent shows at the Hangaram Design Museum (Seoul), Future Fair (NYC), PARADICEPALASE (NYC), Tiger Strikes Asteroid (Los Angeles), Unrequited Leisure (Nashville), Bunker Projects (Pittsburg), Governors Island (New York), and Das Giftraum (Berlin). Currently, Forstater is an Assistant Professor of Studio Art at Wofford College and serves on the board of the New Media Caucus.
Medium: UV print on vinyl, aluminum, fluorescent plexiglass, DreamFusion, PLA 3D print & matte acrylic
Exhibition: South Carolina Biennial 2023 Part II