Petra Cortright

Published April 21, 2010 by Molly

Sometimes it’s not a bad thing for art to be inscrutable— provided that its inscrutability invites further attention rather than repelling it. Petra Cortright’s work is nothing if not a cypher, but it certainly makes for alluring objects of interpretation. Cortright’s animated gifs, videos and still image pieces take their aesthetic inspiration straight from the lore of the internet, drawing on misspellings and trailing cursors and emoticons to form genuinely stunning experiences.

Cortright has talked about her love of google image search, weirdo software effects and default settings. “I am a really impatient person,” she said in an interview last year. “Gifs and webcams are so fast, low file size, load fast, they are almost scraps. I like not having the commitment of working with hi-def vid/images.” Viewers need not be scholars in internet history to enjoy the work, however: “Even if the internet references pass over some heads all my work is so extremely visual and people can enjoy it on that level alone,” Cortright clarifies.

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