American Artist is a rapidly successful multidisciplinary artist who describes their work as “thought experiments that mine the history of technology, race, and knowledge production.” They legally changed their name in 2013 in an effort to begin to reframe the definition of an American artist. During their 2018 residency at Eyebeam, American expanded their research into the development of the Graphical User Interface (GUI), resulting in the 2018 exhibition at Housing Gallery, Black Gooey Universe. The exhibition explored antiblackness found in commodified technology, such as iPhones. They posited “black gooey as antithetical to the values of the white screen” – which has become the neutral factory setting of devices.
Artist is a recipient of the Herb Alpert Award in Visual Art and a Creative Capital grantee. They are a former resident of Smack Mellon, Red Bull Arts Detroit, Abrons Art Center, Recess, EYEBEAM, Pioneer Works, and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. They have exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Museum of Modern Art; Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; and Nam June Paik Center, Seoul.
Recent work ranges from the solo exhibition at the Queens Museum My Blue Window, an immersive multimedia installation that explores anti-Blackness as it operates within technological systems such as predictive policing technology, to Looted, on online commission for the Whitney Museum of American Art that temporarily replaces all images of artwork with textures of plywood, symbolically boarding up the Museum’s website. Their work has been featured in the New York Times, Artforum, and Huffington Post.
Artist is a 2021 Regents’ Lecturer at UCLA and teaches critical theory at the School for Poetic Computation.