David Blandy: How to Live

John Hansard Gallery is pleased to present How to Live (2020), the second of two new digital works by artist David Blandy, especially commissioned to reflect on the uncertain times we currently find ourselves in.

How to Live film begins as a tutorial on how to use Adobe After Effects techniques to bring static images to life. Blandy creates a journey through images around life force, exploring photosynthesis, the geological forces around the creation of oil and coal, and thinking about the future possibilities of human life.

These two newly commissioned works build on a series that use the form of online video tutorials to explore ideas around patterns in nature and existence (previous works include How to make a short video about extinction (2014), and How to make a short video about ideas (2016).) Each of them begins with Blandy giving a step-by-step tutorial explaining how to make a short video about a specific subject, only using the tools available via a computer – through the internet and video editing software to video games.

Both of these previous works explore the increasing uncertainty of what is real and what is artifice. As the digital world pervades and infiltrates every aspect of our lives, it becomes ever more difficult for anyone to ever have a ‘genuine’ sense of reality, instead these works highlight how reality is felt in a range of new and varying ways.

Through his diverse practice, David Blandy (b.1976, London, UK) questions our relationship to the culture that surrounds us, reflecting on the imaginary spaces that form our identity. Delving deep into video game, genre fantasy and Internet culture, he is fascinated by each form’s potential for communality and finding new forms of kinship.

David Blandy’s films are distributed through LUX and he is represented by Seventeen Gallery, London, UK.

How to Fly and How to Live are John Hansard Gallery online exhibitions, as part of the Digital Array programme that is supported by the Barker-Mill Foundation.

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