Stephanie Syjuco works in sculpture and installation, often employing craft and lo-fi methods. Her practice, informed by the open source and copyleft movements, encourages her audience to participate as collaborators, producers and distributors. As a teenager in San Francisco in the mid-1990s, Syjuco attended Women’s Action Coalition meetings and felt inspired by the Riot Grrrl ethos of that moment. One aspect of Riot Grrrl that was particularly appealing to her was the movement’s support of alternative information sharing networks like zines, mixtapes and flyers. For her piece FREE TEXTS, Syjuco produces tear-off tab flyers listing URLs where one can find unsanctioned downloads of critical texts, in an effort to create a dialog around how information and culture are shared in our current moment. For the work’s realization in Alien She, Syjuco included texts considered important by the other exhibiting artists. Proxy Audio Manifestation (Total Bootleg Collection) displays all of the artist’s illegally downloaded music as physical objects simulating CD cases, replete with low-resolution album cover images grabbed from Amazon.com. These digital/analogue retranslations of the “original” objects point to the shift in distribution of cultural products. The handmade, limited-edition artworks can be purchased for the affordable price of $9.99, the same cost as a mass-manufactured album. Syjuco’s The Counterfeit Crochet Project (Critique of a Political Economy) also revolves around the notion of a “bootleg.” Through the website counterfeitcrochet.org, Syjuco solicits crafters from around the world to make copies of signature designer handbags. The participants modify the designs as desired, adding another democratic layer. As Syjuco notes, The Counterfeit Crochet Project inserts a parallel production line, which both diverts and shares similar territory with the standard factory production line and “outsourced” labor. Syjuco lives in San Francisco.
Sat November 28th