Self-Driving Paintings for Chris Burden (Who loved the automobile)
Recalling a history of avant-garde art and the automobile, these three steel panels trace google maps loosely relating to the life and work of Chris Burden. The enamel is applied to the material by way of a CNC machine translating data points as mark-making gestures.
The work is loaded with art historical references, extended painting techniques, non-art materials, peculiar tactics, and translations or mis-translations. The work is further complicated in considering the artist persona within a troubling context of machismo or the tragic-hero. Chris Burden’s fame and memory is problematic for so many reasons beyond his dangerous performances early in his life. These paintings are embedded with some of these problematics; the data carries the most mundane aspects of his life, those routes to and from work, landmark exhibitions and so on. But, the work is also embedded with the more haunting and problematic aspects of Burden’s life, data points from his troubling relationship episodes, maps of his isolationist tactics, all traced again and again with mechanical precision. The paintings would not be considered a celebration of Burden’s life, they are not a memorials, and they are not objects that we should think about outside of those traditions. The spectre that haunts the work also serves as an entry point into a series of difficult conversations about politics, idol-worship, and how we remember the complex legacies of artists.