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Ryan kuo
Family Maker
Vidéo, Software application | hdv, Mac application | couleur | USA | 2017
Family Maker is a computer application that uses the macOS interface to convey family dynamics across cascading sequences of gray application windows that users operate in order to unlock mysteries of being in a family. The application might be read as a portrait of the artist’s family, but it doubles as a working model of family life, populated by windows with names such as Ego and Trauma that prompt association-making. The work has been conceived as a puzzle box to unlock and explore, and as a poetic support that can give form to the unnameable. Family Maker is assembled using a runtime engine, and its dynamics are simultaneously built and enacted. As such, the creative process itself is akin to diagramming and inhabiting the family. A user of the application experiences much of how it was made. Each clickable button and slider is loaded with references to past states and future consequences. It is presented as a regular software application that can be multitasked with other tasks, such as monitoring email and scanning for viruses. As the family is a process, future versions may be created. The work is distributed by Left Gallery.
Ryan Kuo is based in New York and is currently a resident in the Queens Museum Studio Program. He received a Master of Science in Art, Culture and Technology from MIT in 2014. His work is often process-based and diagrammatic, utilizing techniques from video games, productivity software, web design, motion graphics, and sampling. It tends to invoke a person or people arguing. Among his current projects, Ryan is building an artist’s book about aspirational workflows, File: A User’s Manual, modeled after software guides for power users. His works and writing have most recently appeared at the Current Museum of Art (NYC), Equity Gallery (NYC), Front/Space (Kansas City), Spike Art Quarterly (Berlin), Goldsmiths (London), Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (Cambridge, MA), Boston Cyberarts (Boston), MIT Media Lab (Cambridge, MA), and Minibar (Stockholm). He was a resident artist at Residency Unlimited (NYC) in 2017.