“We started Cloaque as a digital landfill,” artist Carlos Saez tells ANIMAL about his ongoing Tumblr-based project with Claudia Mate. “Our idea was to collect digital trash found online and join it together like the compost cubes at landfills.” The Tumblr had quickly turned into a “100% collaborative” group project, Exquisite corpse-style — each artist begins his digital piece where the last one took off and so forth, as you scroll. The project is ever-ongoing.
In Miami, it now lives in the physical space at the UNTITLED art fair, as a project with Art F City. That’s a physical scroll. The Tumblr and the Tumblr contents printed on 265 feet of Tyvek are for sale as one singular, multi-authored artwork. The piece for sale spans from January 2012 to June 2013, includes the work of 40 artists from over a dozen countries and is as big as a Richard Serra, if Richard Serra also printed on 265 feet of Tyvek.
The display version is 60 feet. ANIMAL asked Saez what he thinks of all this work manifested in the physical form (seen here in video).
“The physical roll is like a static picture of something that lives and grows online. It’s good to have a selfie from time to time,” Carlos jokes, referring to the project as an alive work.”Amazing. Exactly like in the URL, but without killing any browser!” It’s true. Because of the complexity of works, Cloaque crashes most browsers after six to ten works. You can access all of them through a map interface, but you can’t “scroll” scroll.
“I like the juxtaposition between the old and the new,” Art F City’s Editorial Director Paddy Johnson tells ANIMAL. The online-based work strapped into an old, mechanical device reminding her of a sheet music on a player piano has been attracting visitors, turning those handles, scrolling. Particularly the rock-climbing bare-assed contributions by Carlos Saez as they clumb their way out of mountain-like black block of Nicolas Sassoon’s frozen gifs and into Ian Aleksander Adams’ psychotic collage of disintegrated LinkedIn imagery.
Because the on-line version keeps growing even now (right now on Cloaque… Carla Gannis & Justin Petropoulos’ porn mutants ebb into Lauren Pelc-McArthur’s pastel psychedelic veiny scribbles and then, Doubleluckiness’s gigantic duck floats up with sumo wresters and throbbing islands disappearing into Nicolas Boillot’s gyrating grate-like porous gifs which digress into Bill Miller’s ASCII art, Tom Hancock’s soft orbs and planes, and then, a naked couple by Kim Laughton rendered in extreme hyperreal detail, engulfed in hyperreal floating golden orbs) this is an opportunity for digital savvy collectors to acquire a limited edition piece of art.
“I think it’s greatest strength is showing off just how large certain online projects are,” the project’s Creative Director Rhett Jones tells ANIMAL. “When they’re confined to the web, online work often feels small, but when you make it physical, this thing is monumental. Cloaque just keeps growing. We wanted to better acquaint collectors with the idea of buying a slice of an ever-evolving piece.”
To me, Cloaque represents the best of collaborative Tumblr art culture, Tumblr’s roots. And the art’s pretty great. Kudos.
And now, something especially for the X-mas celebrating ANIMAL readers…
pulled from the Tumblr pages of Cloaque, by artist Fama De America:
Participating Cloaque artists include: Carlos Saez, Claudia Mate, Ian Aleksander Adams, Fama De America, Anthony Antonellis, Kim Asendorf, Michaël Borras aka Systaime, Blinkinggirls (Sadie Weis and Emilie Gervais), Kutay Cengil, Lenticular Clouds, Devicers, Oleg Dubrovsky, Carol^Error, Ey!magateen, Manuel Fernandez, Emilio Gomariz, Isaacymanu, Georges Jacotey, Kyunghee Jwa, Rollin Leonard, Michael Manning, Mo Marie, Matrixxman, Brian Metcalf, Lorna Mills, Martin Nicolausson, Eva Papamargariti, Tomas Pena, Roberto Piqueras, Dominik Podsiadly, Lorena Prain, Eme Rock, Nicolas Sassoon, Alan Schaffer, Sebastian Thewes, Chris Timms, Clement Valla, Michael Willis, Bryce Wilner, and YNTBP