I Can't Tell You What I Don't Know, Only That I Don't Know

James Clar
Ayala Museum, Makati, Philippines

About

    I Can’t Tell You What I Don’t Know, Only That I Don’t Know is a largescale installation by media artist James Clar in collaboration with the award winning giant parol team from Santa Lucia in San Fernando, Philippines. Organized by Silverlens Galleries in partnership with Ayala Museum, this new artwork will debut publicly in front of the newly renovated museum building during Art Fair Philippines 2022. The work is also presented under OpenSpace, Ayala Museum's public art exhibition program.

    I Can’t Tell You What I Don’t Know, Only That I Don’t Know visualizes the process of understanding language and culture. The cylinders, which trigger the lights on the massive 20-foot diameter parol, is wrapped with a written version of Lupang Hinirang that was spoken to James while in New York on the phone by Corinne De San Jose (a locally born artist). James, a diaspora Filipino who in the last year moved to the Philippines, wrote down what he interpreted as the language. This letter, with notes and errors, was then sent to the curators of Ayala Museum who amended it to the correct version.

    The installation becomes like a large brain whose gears can be seen as the rotating cylinders in the giant parol. The processing of the information animates the lights like neurons firing in the brain. The work is about understanding our culture, language, and history of the Philippines. It is a continual process, whether you’re native or foreign born, and cultural workers (artists, gallerists, curators, collectors, and institutions) all have a role in the perception of who we are.

    James Clar is a light and media artist. His interest is in new technological production processes and their application to artistic narrative forms. He studied film at New York University and received his Masters from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. It was here that he began developing his own light systems to create visual sculptural works that combine light and technology.

    His work explores the conceptual and narrative potential of light and technology. These systems are integrated into our daily lives, altering the way we receive information and communicate. They inform our perception of reality, time, and space. Every system for communication enhances certain types of information while limiting and simplifying others. These modulated effects to our perception have become a thematic focus to his works and a way to experiment with narrative forms.

    From 2006 till 2012 James’ studio was based in Dubai where he became an active participant in the developing arts and culture scene, working with Traffic gallery and Carbon 12. From 2012 till 2020 he moved back to New York working with Jane Lombard gallery, and in 2021 relocated back to his native Philippines to work with Silverlens gallery within the Asian region.

    Clar was an artist in residence at Eyebeam Atelier in New York, Fabrica in Italy, and the FedEx Institute of Technology/Lantana Projects in Memphis. His artwork has been included in exhibitions at Glucksman Museum (Dublin), The New Museum of Contemporary Arts (New York), Pera Museum (Istanbul), Cam Francis Museum (Barcelona), MACBA (Barcelona), and SeMA (Seoul). He has been commissioned to develop largescale installations for 21c Museum Hotels (Oklahoma), Parasol

    Unit Foundation for the Arts (UK), and Fraport Headquarters (Frankfurt).

I Can’t Tell You What I Don’t Know, Only That I Don’t Know is a largescale installation by media artist James Clar in collaboration with the award winning giant parol team from Santa Lucia in San Fernando, Philippines. Organized by Silverlens Galleries in partnership with Ayala Museum, this new artwork will debut publicly in front of the newly renovated museum building during Art Fair Philippines 2022. The work is also presented under OpenSpace, Ayala Museum's public art exhibition program.

I Can’t Tell You What I Don’t Know, Only That I Don’t Know visualizes the process of understanding language and culture. The cylinders, which trigger the lights on the massive 20-foot diameter parol, is wrapped with a written version of Lupang Hinirang that was spoken to James while in New York on the phone by Corinne De San Jose (a locally born artist). James, a diaspora Filipino who in the last year moved to the Philippines, wrote down what he interpreted as the language. This letter, with notes and errors, was then sent to the curators of Ayala Museum who amended it to the correct version.

The installation becomes like a large brain whose gears can be seen as the rotating cylinders in the giant parol. The processing of the information animates the lights like neurons firing in the brain. The work is about understanding our culture, language, and history of the Philippines. It is a continual process, whether you’re native or foreign born, and cultural workers (artists, gallerists, curators, collectors, and institutions) all have a role in the perception of who we are.

James Clar is a light and media artist. His interest is in new technological production processes and their application to artistic narrative forms. He studied film at New York University and received his Masters from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. It was here that he began developing his own light systems to create visual sculptural works that combine light and technology.

His work explores the conceptual and narrative potential of light and technology. These systems are integrated into our daily lives, altering the way we receive information and communicate. They inform our perception of reality, time, and space. Every system for communication enhances certain types of information while limiting and simplifying others. These modulated effects to our perception have become a thematic focus to his works and a way to experiment with narrative forms.

From 2006 till 2012 James’ studio was based in Dubai where he became an active participant in the developing arts and culture scene, working with Traffic gallery and Carbon 12. From 2012 till 2020 he moved back to New York working with Jane Lombard gallery, and in 2021 relocated back to his native Philippines to work with Silverlens gallery within the Asian region.

Clar was an artist in residence at Eyebeam Atelier in New York, Fabrica in Italy, and the FedEx Institute of Technology/Lantana Projects in Memphis. His artwork has been included in exhibitions at Glucksman Museum (Dublin), The New Museum of Contemporary Arts (New York), Pera Museum (Istanbul), Cam Francis Museum (Barcelona), MACBA (Barcelona), and SeMA (Seoul). He has been commissioned to develop largescale installations for 21c Museum Hotels (Oklahoma), Parasol

Unit Foundation for the Arts (UK), and Fraport Headquarters (Frankfurt).

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