Addie Wagenknecht rejects the idea that women need to fit into a society-created idea of femininity. She’s created some badass artwork, literally flipping the bird in a variety of feminized commercial settings, signifying refusal of commodities that connote fabricated ideas of beauty (like Barbies, bouquets of roses, and nail polish). #girlpower!
Wagenknecht turned down RISD and CalArts for undergrad because she didn’t want to be in the silo of an art school, so the result is a more anti-disciplinary practice that often creeps into her artwork.
She’s a jet-setting artist living in New York City and Austria and influential in the art and tech world. Wagenknecht’s work deals primarily with pop culture, feminist theory, new media and open source software and hardware and she’s been featured in numerous academic papers, books, and magazines, like TIME, Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, The Economist, and The New York Times. Sign us up!
Art Zealous borrowed a few moments with our new favorite rebel to chat art, tech, and travel.
Art Zealous: Astrological sign?
Addie Wagenknecht: Aries
AZ: Coffee or tea?
AW: Coffee always.
AZ: What artwork changed your life?
AW: The first that comes to mind is the Tetsuo Kondo installation at the Venice Biennale in 2010.
AZ: Where is your favorite place to “create”?
AW: Anywhere I can be totally alone.
AZ: Ultimate travel destination?
AW: Right now it’s Iran or the Seychelles. I just got back from surfing in Sri Lanka – I have always loved traveling alone and to places that envelope me.
AZ: Your work explores the tension between expression and technology, please elaborate on that.
AW: Technology is a medium just like painting or photography; artists have always relied on what’s available, so systems and networks are a contemporary means of expression.
AZ: Tell us about your Deep Lab project that you founded in 2014 under a Warhol Foundation Grant.
AW: Deep lab is a collaborative that aims to develop research around themes in digital culture, including privacy, anonymity, security, and big data aggregation. The name Deep Lab is a nod to the Deep Web, the mysterious, hidden portion of the internet beyond the reach of standard search engines, and estimated to be many orders of magnitude greater in size.
AZ: How do you think the art industry will adapt to contemporary digital culture?
AW: Just like they have adapted to every other shift artists take in the canon of contemporary art.
AZ: What can we expect to see from you in the future?
AW: Right now I have a huge body of work in production- lots of sculptures that use living materials and computational paintings.
Addie is represented by bitforms gallery in New York City.
Follow Addie on Instagram.
all images courtesy of the artist