Visual artist Rafaël Rozendaal‘s body of work playfully parses web culture tropes while exploring the browser as both a site of experience and production. While most widely known for his prolific ‘art website’ output, what sets Rozendaal apart from many other internet-minded artists is his knack for executing his aesthetic pursuits not only on screens, but in rooms (as installations). Rozendaal’s current exhibition, Everything Always Everywhere, showing at Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles quite directly speaks to the artist’s fascination with framed views through an array of mirrors, each reflecting a common aspect ratio.
Popular Screen Sizes is organized as a procession of 14 mirrors, arranged from smallest (3.5″) to largest (60″) and presenting a spectrum of possible framed views. By pulling these familiar aspect ratios away from the mobile devices and flatscreen televisions they are normally encountered on, viewers of the work are confronted with an abstract meditation on ubiquitous screen culture. This ‘world of screens’ is obviously an issue that is perpetually on Rozendaal’s mind; earlier this summer, while dwelling on the adaptive nature of browsers, he asked “what if a medium does not have a fixed size? How do you deal with composition?” Popular Screen Sizes turns this question on its head and asks “how might one compose with all of the fixed sizes?” Clearly, clinically.
Rozendaal’s installation evokes the thinking of the late Anne Friedberg who (in the Virtual Window Interactive) described the architectonic nature of screens as “…rendering a wall permeable to ventilation in new ways; a ‘virtual window’ that changes the materiality of built space, adding new apertures that dramatically alter our conception of space and (even more radically) of time.” The varied reflections cast by Popular Screen Sizes are an invitation to explore not only the environment that the array is situated in but the network of surfaces that we peer into to watch and connect with the world around us.