If you're an artist, what kind of art do you make?
Conceptual, Digital, Installation, Video
A visual artist, working primarily in video, based in the SF Bay area. I'm represented by Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco and the Video Databank (www.vdb.org). I currently teach at CCA, where I got my MFA in 2000.
In addition to my solo work, for the past 12 years I have been one-half of the collaborative entity HalfLifers, along with my good friend and fellow video artist Torsten Z. Burns.
About my artwork
My work takes a critical stance in relation to the normalizing productions of mass culture. By confronting the viewer with situations in which the content and delivery of these productions is interrupted or destabilized, I hope to provoke a greater awareness of the myriad ways in which they invisibly mediate our perceptions and personal narratives.
For the past decade, much of my work has explored the ubiquitous presence of the mainstream media in contemporary life. Working mainly in video, I have produced a series of projection- and monitor-based installations and screening tapes, in which imagery appropriated from mainstream TV and film has been subjected to destructive, reflexive processes. The goal of these projects has been to literalize and amplify the reactive space generated by our exposure to the mainstream media; to render its ubiquity as a visceral experience that is at once assaultive and anesthetizing. Frequently, my work has employed the metaphor of haunted space to underscore the inherently spectral nature of media imagery in relation to lived experience.
Throughout my investigations, I remain interested in the interplay between the concerns of traditional and electronic media, and seek to re-affirm the possibilities for visual pleasure in both.
Anthony Discenza was born in New Jersey in 1967 and currently resides in Oakland, CA. He received his undergraduate degree in Studio Art at Wesleyan University in 1990 and an MFA at The California College of Arts and Crafts in 2000. Working primarily in video, Discenza’s work has focused on the ubiquitous presence of mainstream media in contemporary life. Extracting and subverting material taken from commercial film, television, and the Internet, he has produced a series of single-channel works and projection-based video installations that amplify both the assaultive and anaesthetizing effects of commercial media; more recent works have begun to explore the relationship between text and visual representation. In addition to his personal work, Discenza devotes a great deal of time to HalfLifers, an ongoing collaboration with longtime friend and fellow video artist Torsten Z. Burns. Mr. Discenza’s solo and collaborative work has been shown at numerous national and international venues; past screenings and exhibitions include Distributed Memory at the Getty Center, Artists of Invention: A Century of CCA at the Oakland Museum, Reprocessing Information at SFMOMA, Remembrance at the Australian Center for the Moving Image in Melbourne, and the 2000 Whitney Biennial. Additionally, he has exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, New Langton Arts, The Sara Meltzer Gallery, The Pacific Film Archive, The Temporary Contemporary in London, the Belkin Gallery in Vancouver, and Hosfelt Gallery in San Francisco. Discenza’s work has also screened extensively at video and media venues in over 2 dozen countries, including The New York Video Festival, CinemaTexas, The Anne Arbor Film Festival, The Thaw Festival of Film, Video and Digital Media, Stuttgart Filmwinter, and the Impakt Festival in Utrecht. Discenza currently works as a Senior Lecturer at the California College of Arts. He is represented by The Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco and the Video Databank of Chicago.