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JAMES CLAR (b. 1979, USA)

James Clar is a media artist whose work is a fusion of technology, popular culture, and visual information. His work explores the limitations of various communication mediums and its effect on the individual and society. Focusing on the visual arts, his work often controls and manipulates light - the common intersection of all visual mediums.

Clar studied film as an undergraduate at New York University focusing on 3D Animation, then continued on to his Masters at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program. It was here that he moved away from screen-based work and started working directly with light, creating sculptural lighting pieces. By developing his own systems with which to manipulate light, he discovered he could create unique visual displays, as well as circumvent the limitations of screen-based work, namely resolution and two-dimensionality.

While his early work dealt with analyzing how technology and media work, a move to the Middle East in 2007 has seen his focus shift to how technology and media affect. As an American living in Dubai, his art work has progressed towards deeper conceptual themes. These include nationalism, globalism, and popular culture in the age of mass information, and often analyses the discrepancy in information between Western media and Middle Eastern media along with its effects on people.

The beginning of 2011 sees Clar open “Satellite”, a new studio in a warehouse space that will allow for larger scale experimentation and production. Satellite will also serve as an exhibition space for select works; sculptures, wall pieces, and art installations that take advantage of the space. It will have an open house feel, allowing the public to come inside and have a look at both finished works and the artistic process; a unique opportunity to engage with the artist often before the works are known to the contemporary art world. Clar, who will curate and manage the programming of Satellite, plans to invite other artists passing through Dubai to use the space as a kind of satellite studio while away from home, encouraging experimentation in a new environment and collaboration between artists.

Clar's other achievements include three patents in the US for new engineering systems created while developing his light art. He 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 the Chanel Mobile Art exhibition (Tokyo), The New Museum of Contemporary Arts (New York), The Chelsea Art Museum (New York), The Somerset House (UK), Museum on Seam (Jerusalem), and LV Gallery (Hong Kong).

Solo Exhibitions:


What Goes Around Comes Around, Caprice Horn Gallery, Berlin
Acceleration, Art Dubai 2010 - Traffic, Dubai

For Your Eyes Only, Traffic, Dubai

Galerie Roger Tator, Festival of Light, Lyon

Lab [AU], Brussels

SubSpace South, Memphis
Material Art Gallery, Memphis

Group Exhibitions:

PULSE Miami, Miami
THE STATE: SOCIAL/ANTISOCIAL?, Traffic & The Third Line, Dubai
WESTEND?, Museum of the Seam, Jerusalem
The Bravery of Being Out of Range, Athr Art Gallery, Jeddah
See the Light, Espace Louis Vuitton Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Art Dubai 2011, Dubai
I Don’t Need Your Money Honey All I Need is Love, Traffic, Dubai

Art Asia, Miam

Art Dubai, Dubai
THE STATE, Traffic, Dubai
Armed, Abu Dhabi Art 2010, Abu Dhabi
SCOPE Basel, Basel
Art Hong Kong, Hong Kong

The Singular Suit, Somerset House, London
My Name is Robot, Jam Jar Gallery, Dubai

Cliche in a Box, Traffic, Dubai
Chanel Mobile Art Tokyo, Tokyo

Museum of Science and Innovation, Tokyo
Tiger Translate, New York

Pop!Tech conference, Maine
Wired Next Fest, New York
9th Japan Media Arts Festival, Museum of Photography, Tokyo
On-Site: New Architecture in Spain, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York

NHK Digital Arts Festival, Tokyo
Seoul Design Festival, Seoul
WIRED NextFest, Chicago
8th Japan Media Arts Festival, Museum of Photography, Tokyo
Milan Triennial, Milan

VIPER Basel, Basel
The Chelsea Art Museum, New York
Siggraph Manila Animation Festival, New York
Digital Arts at CroBar, New York
Compact-Impact Night, TKNY, New York

Remote Lounge, New York
New Museum of Contemporary Arts, New York
Siggraph NYC MetroCAF, New York
ITP Spring Show, New York
New York Dance and Arts, New York
“Junichi and Friends”, New York