James Clar’s work looks at the influence of media and technology on perceptions of culture, nationality, and identity. He works with new technologies and production processes to investigate and critique their effects on human behaviours, whether in terms of broad socio-political trends or more personal emotions.
After studying film and animation at New York University, Clar moved away from screen-based practices at graduate school, and began to work with artificial light, creating sculptural lighting pieces. By developing his own systems with which to manipulate light, he discovered he could create unique visual displays, as well as circumvent the limitations of screen-based work. In effect, these light works became a physical extension of the pixel beyond the screen, pixels that created three-dimensional sculptural form.
Living in Dubai from 2007 – 2012, Clar became an active participant in the development of the city’s arts and cultural scene. While his earlier work analyses how technology and media function, his experiences in the Middle East saw his focus shift to how technology and media affect our lived experience, from themes of nationalism, and globalisation, to popular culture in the age of mass information.
Solo exhibitions include False Awakenings, Jane Lombard Gallery, New York (2016); Double Rainbow all the way, Carbon 12, Dubai (2015); SEEK, Carroll/Fletcher, London (2014); Data Packets, Galeria Senda, Barcelona (2013); Iris Was A Pupil, Carbon 12, Dubai (2012); What Goes Around Comes Around, Caprice Horn, Berlin (2010); and For Your Eyes Only, Traffic, Dubai (2009). Group exhibitions include Peace Minus One, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul (2015); Big Bang Data, Center for Contemporary Culture (CCB) Barcelona; They Sicken Of The Calm Who Know The Storm, Fridman Gallery, New York (both 2014); Coming To Terms, Jackman Humanities Institute, Toronto; This Is Not A Love Song, Museum Palau de la Virreina, Spain (both 2013); Segment 3, Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul (2012); Forwards / Vorwaerts, Q Contemporary, Beirut (2012); Dark Side of the Moon, Carbon 12, Dubai (2012); The State: Social / Anti-Social, Traffic, Dubai (2011).
Clar has undertaken commissions for 21c Museum Hotels, Oklahoma City; Royal Caribbean, RCCL; Parasol Unit, London; Fraport Headquarters, Frankfurt, Germany; Rolex Tower, Dubai; Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST), University of Tsukuba Tokyo and FedEx Institute of Technology / Lantana Projects, Memphis. He lives and works in New York.