Headlands Center for the Arts

Danielle Dean

california | interdisciplinary
Artist in Residence Program 2020

Artist Statement

I work with multiple media, including drawing, video, and installation. My work uses fiction and the aesthetics of advertising to engage and historicize the media and cultural processes that colonize the mind and body. I use different media to investigate the materials through which capitalism reproduces itself, and also produces subjectivity. Drawing on my multinational background—born to a Nigerian father and an English mother in Alabama, and brought up in a working-class suburb of London—my work explores the ideological function of technology, architecture, marketing techniques, and the media as tools of subjection and oppression. I focus on the processes of constructing and commodifying raced, gendered, aged, and classed subjectivities through target-marketing practices. I am specifically interested in subverting such processes, shifting them toward a non-essentialized space of being and blurring fiction, fact, subject, and object.

While at Headlands

At Headlands, I will expand my research into representations of landscapes in relation to the history of capitalism. I have been researching an archive of Ford commercials, wherein landscapes are situated in relation to cars and the Ford assembly line, and also hand-drawn landscapes by Disney animators, which also utilized the assembly line. The position of the viewer in relation to these landscapes is one of separation, dominance, and extraction. I am interested in reclaiming the production of the imaginary in these representations. The imagined landscape affects how we connect to the real—how we have justified mass consumption and environmental despoliation. At Headlands, I will work on a series of drawings that connect this history to the current post-Fordist context of online work, such as click-worker platforms, whereby corporations crowdsource jobs, extending the assembly line into workers’ homes. I am interested in how this operational landscape might be subverted into a network of solidarity.

Selected Works

Personal Website

http://www.danielleadean.com