Opening July 14th, 990 Spring Garden Street

Juried by Aria Dean and David Hartt

Are ‘Friends’ Electric? is Vox Populi’s thirteenth annual juried exhibition, featuring work by fifteen contemporaries selected by this years jurors, Aria Dean and David Hartt.

The exhibition Are ‘Friends’ Electric? investigates various forms of alienation. Many of the works take alienation as their subject, exploring a growing sense of removal from oneself and others at the hands of technology ― in the common sense as digital technology continues to grow as a mediating force, as well as in regard to the more abstract political and economic technologies that undergird these relations. Likewise, much of the work exemplifies varying approaches to and degrees of alienation in artistic production.

This exhibition, a perennial highlight of Vox Populi’s summer season, showcases a wide range of artistic practices and treatments of materials that coalesce into a panorama of the current moment. The featured artists have their roots all across the country and have been chosen from a pool of hundreds of artists who submitted to this year’s open call.

Please note that due to the recent building incident and closure at 319 N 11th Street this exhibition will be held off-site through the generous support of Arts & Crafts Holdings at 990 Spring Garden Street, with a First Friday celebration on Friday, August 4th.

You know I hate to ask
But are ‘friends’ electric?
Only mine’s broke down
And now I’ve no-one to love
– Gary Numan/ Tubeway Army




Aria Dean

Dean is a Los Angeles-based writer and artist. She currently holds the position of Assistant Curator of Net Art & Digital Culture at Rhizome. Her writing has been featured in Artforum, The New Inquiry, Real Life Magazine, Topical Cream Magazine, and X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly. Dean has shown at Arcadia Missa (London), The Knockdown Center (NYC), and Club Pro (Los Angeles). In September, she has a solo exhibition at American Medium (NYC). She also co-directs Los Angeles gallery and project space As It Stands LA. Currently, Dean’s research, writing, and visual work explore the relationship and resonances between blackness, media, and communication and information technologies. She works primarily through text and sculpture to hypothesize an apocalyptic blackness.

David Hartt

Hartt is a Philadelphia-based artist whose work unpacks the social, cultural, and economic complexities of his various subjects. He has extensive experience using video and photography to carry out research related to vernacular cultures, anthropology, and architectural history. David is the recipient of a 2015 Foundation for Contemporary Art Grant, was named a United States Artists Cruz Fellow in 2012, and received a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award in 2011. His work has been exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Carnegie Museum of Art, LA><ART, Or Gallery in Vancouver, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the National Gallery of Canada. Born in Montreal, he has an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa. David currently serves as Assistant Professor of Fine Arts in the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania.



MOOD is Beth Heinly’s first solo exhibition at Vox Populi. The exhibit centers around the concept of art making within an Internet Age. MOOD is an art installation that is a flow of cataloged images. The term MOOD is internet slang that defines an individual’s ever-changing emotional state online. For this exhibition, MOOD is an indication of the artist’s own influx state of artmaking.  MOOD is meant to emphasize a moment. The primary gesture in internet artmaking that MOOD aims to encompass is cataloging. The artist catalogs data to recreate imagery using varying forms of art-making for the installation. The cataloging is based on the artist’s personal interests, which include; craft, feminism, gender, realizations of self, true crime, TV prop replicas and time. The artwork on display utilizes a Conceptual Artists’ practice similar to Famous Conceptual Artists like; John Baldessari, Yoko Ono and Mike Kelley (to name a few), where an artist is not defined by one medium, but by ideas expressed through multimedia. MOOD also calls to the practice of performance art and the cross sections of this practice in all forms of art making including Internet Art.

Though a great number of art objects within the installation are sourced from the internet #notallobjects in MOOD are sourced directly through internet surfing. Additional sources of inspiration are found in works of fiction and iconic imagery from before the Internet. The artist relinquishes any responsibility as to the cataloging making any sense in terms of a linear narrative for an audience, quoted saying “I do what I want.”. The artist chooses not to quote Derrida (the only form of Derrida the artist has read) at you in relation to the deconstruction of the postmodern narrative and their exhibition. MOOD could be coined a Post Internet Art show, but then again there’s one sculpture in the show made distinctly in vein of Post Internet Art, so that’s confusing. The artist would say it is not Post Internet Art.

to skip, to gloss


March 3 - April 23, 2017

to skip, to gloss is a site-specific installation that utilizes photography, sculpture, and architectural elements to explore how our perception is translated into understanding.

In this new body of work, Stephanie Bursese presents a series of binary relationships that are represented as photographs and related sculptural elements. Through lighting and a temporary wall, the gallery is bisected into a dark and light half. In the light half a long line of color photographs depicts a wall in various states of construction and demolition.  A two-way mirror in the dividing wall offers a reflection toward the light half, and a view of the light from the dark half, which contains a sculpture in dialog with the photographs. Vantage points within the exhibition suggest to the viewer such larger issues as surveillance, access, and borders. The architectural elements highlight the role of the body in space and our instinct to trust what we experience first hand.

Built into the framework of to skip, to gloss is Bursese’s ongoing investigation into behavioral patterns that create expectations, habits, and vulnerability. The body, although not pictured, tears down and builds the photographed wall and touches the found objects on display. The formal arrangement of objects, images and materials suggest metaphors that explore the bond between aggression and delicacy, trust and doubt, knowing and “skipping over”.