Do you know who Ryan Trecartin is? You better. He’s making the wildest and best videos to be found online or in a gallery anywhere. This piece is about to open with six others to form an epic at the Museum of Modern Art P.S.1 in New York. It’s a warped and wicked view of corporate career life and behavior as practiced by characters whom I suspect would not even want to be considered normal. They spout company lingo and get it all twisted back inside of itself until it starts to sound like perfect sense and is just as valid as what you hear daily in the offices of any company. Trecartin is onto the fact that our economy has failed and millions of people are out of work because their jobs were bullshit to begin with. At minimum, 75% of jobs in corporate America are completely unnecessary. They are a busy-work scam based on particular rhythms and mannerisms and they produce nothing at all. The characters in this video revel in their uselessness. They gloat, the whine, they insult, they mock. They are amped up to be as irritating as possible. Their voices grate like demented cartoon characters. These videos are like the visions of a child computer in orbit that scans human beings and then tries to reproduce them but gets it wrong. These are digital creatures more than they are actual human characters.
Not to mention the fact that Trecartin’s intentionally clumsy and cheeseball imagery is simply gorgeous. The videos are extremely deceptive. They are so freely expressive as to be nearly psychotic. But always just enough under control to imply meanings with great subtlety. Right now these films of Ryan Trecartin represent the avant-garde’s leading edge.