Working with digital imagery, games, and animation, Sara Culmann builds playable environments that comment on contemporary society. Her work enacts the lure of contemporary life, as well as the feelings of anxiety, apathy, and frustration it generates. She is specifically interested in how society’s obsession with capitalism and the digital environment translates into a dense conglomerate of iconographic images whose meaning is often dual and contradictory. Mainstream artefacts and controversial symbolic icons enter her environments, roaming the (digital) world until they become semantic noise, empty signifiers. Culmann is interested in the contradictory duality that each asset, or vessel of meaning, contains.
For her this type of binarity is not only found in symbols and icons but also in the computer-generated patterns she finds on the internet and then texturizes for her own works. This digital creation of volume can be done in two directions; and therefore, for Culmann, the computer-generated pattern becomes an asset in which dual sets of possibilities lie dormant. This interest in meaningmaking Culmann sometimes translates into sculptural works that function as extensions of her playable media, and in which the duality of meaning finds another form of expression.
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