Day 3 | Jessica Westbrook

Product Placements (2009) takes the form of “spectacular” mashups of nature and product, with motivations lying in both mundane drive-by natural worlds (cultural landscapes) and empty sugar free food packaging (consumer habits). While attempting to communicate a sense of joy and optimism, this work cannot escape underlying struggles for orientation, power, and meaning.

Product Placements, 2009 – TRT 5:00 mins.

Jessica Westbrook’s projects explore desire, visual cues, cultural artifacts, systems, language, and contradictory sensations that vacillate between great fortune and impending catastrophe. Always semantic in nature and modular in form, she considers her productions a section of visual language culled from a complex matrix of assets, reconfigured and repurposed per space and time. She has exhibited work nationally and internationally including recent projects for: Chicago, The Kinsey Institute, Carnegie Museum, Hirshorn Museum of American Art, Axiom Center for New and Experimental Media, Eyedrum, Syracuse University, and Emily Carr University. She is an active collaborator with Basekamp (Philadelphia), and Channel TWo (Chicago), participating in projects that push the boundaries of curatorial and media practices. She is currently an Assistant Professor and the Director of Technology Initiatives in The Department of Contemporary Practices at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Westbrook received her MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. Her networked based work in collaboration with Adam Trowbridge was awarded a Terminal Commission in 2010, and a Turbulence Commission in 2011.

Jessica Westbrook – Chicago Illinois

4 thoughts on “Day 3 | Jessica Westbrook

  1. Very interesting. To me, this piece seems to poke fun at the ridiculousness of advertising, which I couldn’t appreciate more. Marketing is the devil.

  2. The idea behind the piece seems like a good idea but the amount of time focused on each subject matter seems to take to long to change to the next causing a loss in interest

  3. This video transforms the real into the surreal. Seeing garbage in such a glamorous form juxtaposed against beautiful landscapes seems quite ironic. This provoked the thought that people pollute with complete ignorance and apathy towards nature, destroying true beauty with man-made trash.

  4. It is very interesting to see “garbage” turned into something new and inventive. The white sparkles seem to be sugar that is still circling the objects, giving the packaging it’s own energy force field. They look like little spaceships flying through a beautiful range of scenery.

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