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  • Source: DAZED
  • Author: BRYONY STONE
  • Date: NOVEMBER 11, 2019
  • Format: DIGITAL

Enter Solange-collaborator Jacolby Satterwhite’s ‘virtual reality den’

Solange-collaborator Jacolby Satterwhite tells us how his latest art project for Burberry and Dazed considers how memory helps us cope

To celebrate the launch of Burberry’s Monogram puffer collection, Dazed partnered with the iconic British brand to spotlight young pioneers breaking boundaries across the globe. We asked four creatives to make a piece of work which responds to the ideas of boundlessness, weightlessness and freedom, all exhibited in a digital gallery, here. New York-based artist Jacolby Satterwhite tells us more.

Click here to be transported into a weightless, boundless digital world…

Born in Columbia, South Carolina, artist Jacolby Satterwhite spent his formative years traversing the virtual reality of 90s pop culture. He owned numerous games consoles, among them a Game Gear, Sega Genesis, SNES, 32X, Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation, and was obsessed with the music videos of Janet Jackson. At 11, he got his first computer, and by 13, Satterwhite was building websites.

By the time his late teen years rolled around, Satterwhite studied painting, first at the Maryland Institute College of Art, then Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Studying for his MFA at the University of Pennsylvania, Satterwhite began to incorporate 3D animation into his work. Now, the Brooklyn-based artist’s multidisciplinary arsenal includes drawing, printmaking, sculpture, performance, and dance. Satterwhite harnesses software to make 3D animations and live-action films which centre his own body, allowing him to tether the many strands of his practice together and move between reality and its virtual counterpart.

Satterwhite’s is a high/low approach which has attracted galleries across the globe including London’s Whitechapel Gallery, New York’s MoMA and New Museum, and MoCA Chicago. Satterwhite’s appeal goes beyond the white cube, with Solange bringing the artist on board as a contributing director as part of her When I Get Home project. Set in an alternate universe unbound by time, the video pushed Solange’s visual work in a new, unexpected direction, bringing 3D animation to her visual world for the first time. Recently, Satterwhite released his own visual album, inspired by his artist mother Patricia, which features her original vocals from cassette tapes recorded close to thirty years ago at her home and during her time in hospital.

Below, Jacolby Satterwhite gives us a behind the scenes look at the work he created for Boundless, soundtracked by the artist with a song from his new album.

Corey Olson

What does freedom look, sound, and feel like to you? 

Jacolby Satterwhite: Mastering meditation and mindfulness.

Give us an insight into the method through which you make your work. Do you have any rituals of your own that shape your daily creative practise?

Jacolby Satterwhite: I collect motifs and moodboards until they begin to form their own language and then I move forward with translating those motifs with the given medium I think resonates the idea well.

Jacolby Satterwhite: Given the terms ‘weightlessness’ and ‘freedom’ as the conceptual framework for the piece, I wanted to focus on ‘memory’ as a weightless medium to store time. Compositing a collection of family photos into a virtual reality den and filtering out the negative space of their bodies with a more appeasing digital decoration felt like an appropriate depiction of memory as a weightless coping mechanism. Scientifically it is proven that our brain documents the past in a way that helps us function in the present.

What does it mean to you to return to memories of your family at this moment in time?

Jacolby Satterwhite: I was more interested in the concept of a photograph created 40 years ago as a material to be repurposed and expanded in virtual reality. The gesture seemed to articulate the way we process memory as human beings. I wasn’t using my own family photos with sentimental purposes.

Did you have any particular references in mind when you made the work?

Jacolby Satterwhite: Coming off the heels of two institution and museum shows and other miscellaneous projects throughout the year has me arriving at this current aesthetic and visual template.

Jacolby Satterwhite: Either become really zen or a headless party queen.

Finally, what excites you right now about Riccardo’s vision for Burberry? 

Jacolby Satterwhite: I’m excited about the brand becoming bold, audacious, with an incredibly clever use of materials. It feels like it’s moving towards a more sensual queer dynamism that fashion can always use more of.

Click here to be transported into a weightless, boundless digital world…