SomoS is showing the exhibition Infected Economies by artist Chad Erpelding since 19 April 2023. The solo exhibition Infected Economies by artist-in-residence Chad Erpelding explores the relationship between different economic markets through data visualisation.
Fig.above: Chad Erpelding, IBEX 35 Feb – Mar 2020, Acryl auf Papier, 2023
During his residency at SomoS, American conceptual artist and educator Chad Erpelding focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on various global economic metrics, including an analysis of stock market data, GDP, debt, trade, etc.
The enormous fluctuations in international markets during the pandemic are marked by red and black colour blocks; an homage to the economic idiom “in the black/in the red”, meaning either an inflow of capital or an outflow of capital. The series gives tangible form to this data and invites the audience to examine the inextricable relationship between international economies as well as their own understanding of the stock market.
As an artist interested in presenting a variety of perspectives on the global economy, Erpelding is primarily interested in interacting with the audience through detached speculation. He hopes to “appeal to the intellect with my work by presenting the viewer with topics to think about, but not necessarily prescribing where those thoughts lead”. His interest in stock markets stems from the realisation that different economies are inextricably linked and that these markers are often followed with “almost religious fervour” to measure the health of an economy. They are not simply aestheticised numbers, but catalogues of socio-economic well-being.
About Chad Erpelding
As an artist concerned with the relationship between data and its use, Erpelding’s work is strongly rooted in the visual interpretation of quantitative research, incorporating statistics from companies, political systems, government organisations, stock markets and other fields into his work. The artist, who initially studied economics, used his interest in mathematics as a crucial element for his art.
His extensive research highlights the diversity of representation and interpretation of global networks and activities. Erpelding’s aim is not to promote a singular, personal view of the data he presents, but to challenge the viewer to reconsider their relationships with these institutions while reassessing their understanding of their place in a global community.”
His work has led him to an academic career at Boise State University, where he serves first as director of the graduate programme in the Department of Art, Design and Visual Studies and now as professor of drawing and painting.
Erpelding sees our society today as one based on corporations: “They continue to grow and consolidate to such an extent that they are larger than many economies of different countries and continue to exert the greatest influence on our political systems, often overshadowing or controlling those institutions as well.”
Alluding to the history of abstract painting, he produces not exclusively data visualisation, but a combination of systems-based painting and data visualisation, explaining: “I want to intentionally replace the formal and idealistic space of modernist painting with our new idol – the market.”
Kottbusser Damm 95, 1.0G
U8 – Schönleinstraße, Ausgang Schinkestraße
Opening: Tuesday, 18 April, 6-7 p.m.
Duration: Wednesday, 19 April-Saturday, 22 April
Tuesday-Saturday 2-7pm or by appointment