By Sean Alday
Local artist and activist William Powhida was apparently approached by CNN’s marketing team to show a piece of art in pixels in their online art gallery. Since the dawn of the internet the online art gallery has been attempted, first in HTML form and moving into Flash and CSS forms. Since Apple Inc. declared war on Adobe Flash, the quality of these online galleries fluctuated wildly and with great hiccups.
It would seem that fuller scale mainstream acceptance is coming now that CNN (even at 2nd and 3rd place in the ratings struggle) is adopting the platform. This could have been mistaken for a one off fling with art, as it began last year with the 9/11 Ripple show to mark the tenth anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Centers.
However, CNN has decided to keep alive their tradition of spectacle and gimmickry with a presidential election art exhibition themed around power. A tempestuous subject that deserves examination. Just don’t read the comment section if you have never seen the internet ever were any sort of idealist when you arrived.
Seb Jarnot’s piece, “War of the Smiles” is a very precise piece when coupled with the statement and brings to mind a passage from Chuck Klostermann’s book “Eating the Dinosaur” in which he describes the three types of American laughs. Seb Jarnot’s piece also seems to be the populist candidate in the comment section.
Back to you William Powhida, from one white male to another, congratulations. On a related tangent: It’s amazing how much your rendering of George Bush’s head looks like Newt Gingrich’s melon, or vice versa.