Matthew Belanger

new media artist


Clarus The Dogcow
Clarus The Dogcow
AMEX Apollo 11 Bad CBS Clarus CNBC Stock Ticker Corbis Corporate Logos Dancing Baby .com Enron Frankenfish Furby Google Hilton iMac iPod Mickey Ms. Pac-Man Napster NASDAQ today OJ Osama Pac-Man Pioneer Pokemon Rather Good SARS Tickle Me Elmo Tomagotchi Trinity Unabomber Manifesto WIRED XX ;-) After Dark ASCII Fahrvergnügen Monroe peeance freeance Who shot J.R.?
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In 1997 I began a series of drawings and paintings, using dirt, paint, and water applied with sticks on heavy paper, which I eventually burried in my backyard. Weeks, months, and sometimes years later I unearthed whatever remained. These drawings later became the foundation for this body of work when, in 1999, I picked up a Pokemon coloring book at the bookstore, and began turning though it. I soon came to a page where, as ridiculous as it may sound, the simplicity of the line drawing made me immediately recall the cave walls of Lascaux, France.

Afterwards, I decided to combine my dirt drawings, which already had the appearance of a rough cave surface, with appropriated material from the contemporary era using digital collage. The iPod, American Express card, and Ms. Pac-Man, the corporate logos of Microsoft, Enron, and Napster, as well as words and phrases such as Y2K, .com, SARS, and more were treated like 10,000 year old works of art. The Dancing Baby, an internet and television meme of the late 1990s, is a relic of the early electronic age, yet also recalls the Roman putti. The Tomagotchi virtual pet resembles the pre-Columbian textiles of South America. The rounded form of the original iMac resembles a Greek vessel. Clarus the Dogcow is like a bison drawn on a cave wall, the cursor a hunting spear.

This body of work aims to simultaneously connect the viewer with an era long past, a time recently experienced, and a future we can only contemplate. It asks us to consider, "What will future anthropologists make of our contemporary cultural output 10,000 years or more from now?"

Metaglyphs was first exhibited in 2000 at The Art Institute of Boston. They have also been exhibited at Art Push 2001 in St. Petersburg, Russia, at the Novosibirsk State Art Museum and Levall Gallery in Novosibirsk, Russia, and they won 2nd Prize at the 2000 HyperArt Biennale.