Picture Theory presents You’re Bringing Me Down, an exhibition by multidisciplinary artist Jason Isolini. Working through a spectrum of media including optics, lens-based visual opacities, moving-image, performance, and traditional means, Isolini shapes surprising topologies between surveillance-fueleddata-mining and the literal resource extraction needed to keep digital infrastructures running.

The exhibition’s title, You’re Bringing Me Down, at once refers to the psychological damage inflicted by endless doomscrolling, the directional UX of the scrolling experience that forces our fingers into repetitious swipes downward, and large-scale mining’s actual digging and devastating ecological consequences.

Throughout his work, Isolini synthesizes media with sculptural elasticity, creating a rich alter-realm of appearance and disappearance that brushes us against our own limits and apprehension. As we become the screens these works project their technical intelligence onto, we might consider where exactly the public sphere today is located. At stake is the authenticity of aesthetic experience. Have we become no more than AI-driven chatbots in a dystopic globalized chat room endlessly producing data for this extractive system to run more efficiently? Have we become the canaries in the coal mine? Undoubtedly, we have arrived at the shores of a confused aesthetics. We might ask, like many artists have, if we can adequately imagine this devious global machine. But perhaps our question is poorly posed. Isolini asks not whether we can imagine it, but rather, “Does its power lie in it being able to imagine us?”

You’re Bringing Me Down finds Isolini opting for an alternative orientation tending toward radical simultaneity, omnidirectional 360º seamlessness, playful interrogation, and rejuvenating vitality. It is work that engages with our current moment as an abyss not to despair over, but in which one may become light.    

–Brent Michael Cox

Download Press Release

Jason Isolini is a Brooklyn-based artist, whose work explores the increased conflation of corporate, public and private environments. He has previously been exhibited at Public Works Administration, Anonymous Gallery, The FiDi Arsenale, Mery Gates, and Annka Kultys Gallery U.K. among others. Performances and screenings include Microscope Gallery, Vector Festival, Cosmic Rays Film Festival, and the Ammerman Center for Art and Technology. Jason is a 2023 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Digital and Electronic Media and 2023 Finalist for the Jerome Hill Foundation Fellowship in Combined Artistic Fields. He received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).