Jasper Elings’ Digital Dadaism
August 13, 2013
Internet art is a crowded and often uninspiring medium; good for a few chuckles, but at the end of the day, blurring into the background of a creative genre we’re all too familiar with (and spending too much time on). But Jasper Elings may just be the exception to that rule.
Elings’ collection of GIFs, videos, and conceptual pieces are humorous dadaism for a digital age. His work tackles everything from societies foibles and internet culture to human absurdity andÂ defamiliarizationÂ The really remarkable thing about Elings’ work, however, is that he manages to do all of this while maintaing an air of accessibility and only hinting at the loftier philosophy informing the work. Internet art tends to fall into one of two categories, a childish prankster mentality or heavy-hitting didacticism that deigns to condescend to its viewer. Elings has hit just the right balance in his art, hilariouslyÂ re-appropriatingÂ familiar image and tropes, and combining them with the vernacularÂ of the web in order to perfectly serve his higher, intellectual ambitions.
Elings work is a reminder that, although the internet can often feel like a never-ending inundation of information, images and ideas that can leave you feeling jaded, when you stumble across something truly innovative, it still has the power to stop you dead in your tracks.