Anthony Aziz + Sammy Cucher begun their career together in 1992, and have worked in a variety of media including digital imaging, sculpture, animation, and video-installation. Their new work “Some People”, a complex multi-channel video environment has been commissioned to premiere at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2012. Their work has been marked by a distinctive concern regarding technology and its impact on the human body and on consciousness. The “Synaptic Bliss” and “Scenapse” series, produced between 2003 -2008 address the landscape and can be seen as an extension of their work dealing with the body in the previous decade. In these seemingly classical landscape still-images and videos, diverse forms are superimposed, become intertwined, and slowly emerge from an intensively colored flurry. Kaleidoscopic clouds evolve into trees, branches, meadows, flowers and undergrowth. Each individual shape seems in constant flux, becoming distinguished by a shift in tone, orientation, or size of its colored texture. The works in this series appear like electronic impressionism with almost hallucinatory, disorientating effects. In their work they have held a long conversation between the painterly and the photographic. Not only were their earlier works such as “Dystopia” (1994-95) based on the conventions and traditions of portraiture established in the renaissance, but the actual making of those digitally altered photographs involved a kind of electronic painting where pigment and paint were replaced by pixels and data. This dynamic relationship between these two mediums tipped decisively towards the painterly in later works like the “Nocturnes” and the videos from “Synaptic Bliss”(2003-4), where in an effort to represent a mode of perception signed by digital technology and science, they let go of photographic realism and opted for a complex and multilayered flatness that veered towards abstraction and where color and line were the main expressive elements. In the “Scenapse” series they have reclaimed some elements of photographic representation and its power to capture and maintain the specificity of the world. Yet this world is modulated by fragmentation, separation, and reconstitution, as markers of a consciousness that can only see the world in pieces but that can achieve a kind of ecstatic hyper-awareness of the interconnectedness of all parts.
Aziz + Cucher are both members of the Faculty at Parsons The New School, New York. They live and practice in Brooklyn.