Maybe it was the rolling gorilla, the alien cat, or the sale snake. If you browsed SSENSE during the sale, chances are you had a favorite GIF. The artist who created our love-them-or-hate-them sale graphics is 27-year-old Claudia Maté, a digital artist who mines the farthest reaches of the internet for inspiration.
Born in Madrid and now based in London, Maté has been using computers ever since building her own P.C. from scratch with her father at age nine. Her GIFs and digital artworks feature the dialogue boxes, loading bars, and choppy 3D renderings encountered during serious hours logged online. Not to mention her taste for circa-1990’s computer graphics (like that floating whale you may remember). “I love old techniques,” says Maté, “So I mix these with the current tools.” An ongoing project, a collaborative Tumblr named Cloaque, engages with the nature of “digital trash” images uploaded to the internet and then forgotten by turning them into an endlessly scrolling collage that’s as alive, unexpected, and infinite as the World Wide Web itself. We talked to Maté about her internet preferences.
When did you first start making art?
I did some engravings and papier maché sculptures when I was a baby, lol. My father was a great engraver.
What programs or tools do you use?
What interests you the most about internet art?
The thing I like the most is reaching the last corner of the world from my desk.
What’s your favorite era of the internet?
Who makes better art – people or machines?
Machines always need people.
What’s the longest amount of time you've ever gone without the internet?
Maybe 24 hours. I've never gone a long time without the internet, I always find a way to connect.
Which would be worse: no internet ever again, or say… never going swimming again in your life?
No internet anymore? That would be a nightmare! I’d prefer not to go swimming ever again.
What kind of projects do you have planned for the future?
Take a vacation in the heavenly islands of Croatia with Carlos Saez, my brother and partner at Cloaque.
By the time we'd listened to the eight tracks from BOY/FRIEND'S (pronounced "boy-slash-friend") debut LP, Leather Weather, via Soundcloud, we knew we had to hunt down vocalist Shan Poo for our own roster of mixes. Although the New York-based singer is fresh faced on the scene, he's already garnered comparisons to both Frank Ocean and The Weeknd for his forward-thinking take on moody R&B. Leather Weather, his May 2013 album released independently (and made downloadable for free) immediately caught the attention of many - including The Fader, and of course, ourselves - thanks to Poo's crooning vocals and soothing production from fellow newcomer, MNTN. Kuhrye-OO and SSENSE favorite, Sweater Beats, make appearances on Leather Weather as well.
Of his mix, BOY/FRIEND describes it as his "first official mixtape," one that features artists and tracks that influenced and inspired him during the production of Leather Weather. BOY/FRIEND's mix opens with a sample from the 1992 romantic comedy Boomerang, followed by 90s-inspired R&B from Mariah Carey, Donnell Jones, Mista, The-Dream, and Andre 3000, alongside remixes from Machinedrum, Cashmere Cat, and Ryan Hemsworth.
Mista Blackberry Molasses
André 3000 She Lives In My Lap
The Dove Shack Summertime In The LBC
Jon B Don't Talk
Ralph Tresvant Money Can't Buy You Love
Sounds of Blackness Optimistic
Mariah Carey Say Something (feat. Pharrell & Snoop Dogg)
Omarion Obsession (feat. Pharrell)
Missy Elliott Beep Me 911 (feat. 702 & Magoo)
N*Sync Do Your Thing (Timbo Blend)
Craig David Fill Me In (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)
DJ Luck & MC Neat I'm Sorry
Brenmar Temperature Rising
Giraffage & XXYYXX Even Though
The-Dream Wake Me When It's Over (Nash & Nadus Blend)
MNTN One Lonely Star
Kuhrye-OO Love Don't Live Here Edit
Gang Colours Fancy Restaurant (Machinedrum Remix)
Feadz & Kito Wettex (Cashmere Cat Remix)
James Blake Give A Man A Rod (Boomerang Bootleg)
Donnell Jones I Wanna Love You
PM Dawn I'd Die Without You
From magazines to Instagram to the dozens of newsfeed photos we burn through in the blink of an eye, it can be easy to take photography for granted as a condition of our lives – if not to tune it out completely. But the annual Festival les Rencontres d’Arles, dedicated to showing new and unpublished works from the best names in world photography, provides countless reasons to rediscover the art form. A three-month-long series of exhibitions, symposiums, screenings, and workshops takes over the eastern Provence city to celebrate every side of photography as a medium. Black and white, the festival’s theme for 2013, restricts its roster of artists to monochromatic explorations of light, shadow, and tone.
Out of over 60 exhibitions, highlights range from a recently discovered cache of early Guy Bourdin prints to a NASA space probe’s surreal aerial shots of the Mars landscape. Hiroshi Sugimoto’s minimalist Polaroid series “Couleurs de l’Ombre” captures the light of Tokyo sunrises refracted through a prism and rendered in pure, precise tones. Works of every genre, from John Davies’s urban landscapes to the Bogota cinema portraits of Miguel Angel Rojas, show the endless range of the black and white medium. We can’t think of a better cure for photo fatigue. Also not to be missed: a personal reflection on the surrounding landscape from Arles-born couturier Christian Lacroix. The festival runs from July 1st to September 22nd at various locations in Arles, France.
Images, top row: NASA images of Mars, curated by Xavier Barral. Second row: John Davies. Third row: John Davies, Miguel Angel Rojas.