Dire Jank

curated by Porpentine Charity Heartscape

thecatamites, Magic Wand, 2016
Dire Jank is the sublime worlds that blossom in the trash, and if they're a little radioactive, it's because of the materials we had to work with. Trash has memory, strata. It doesn't disappear when you flush it. It just changes into a gyre patch, or the rings of a tree, or another nation's problem, or a kid's epigenetic traits. On the internet people re-fashion it into something better or at least weirder, until eventually the normies want it back. Pocket worlds to shelter you from the neurotoxin rain, the worlds we deserved as children.

After a year of drawing games on index cards with markers during his lunch breaks, thecatamites accumulated the vignette collection 50 Short Games. His fevered Final Fantasy pastiche Magic Wand is the homeopathic distillation of playing games as a child. These are the bezoars produced by an age where corporations manufacture monolithic media designed to eat your spare time, an eternal fandom of regurgitated sequels and reboots. Consuming these hardened digestive masses of culture will prove an antidote to any poison.

Devi McCallion's songs are awkward and hot, blood, drowning in blood, drowning in god, cannibalized by the world, sick with cop-radiation, full of the sweetness of plants dying. Like every artist in this show you see the seams in it, the connection to your own hands. Prayers II Heaven sounds like a magical girl burning up in the atmosphere, cursed to die beautifully.

Tabitha Nikolai makes mutant artifacts from cosplay, video games, and suburban occult--fragile teen rites to summon, after years of heartache, herself. Ineffable Glossolalia is an architectural fusion of Borges' infinite library with the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, a key structure in pre-war Berlin's progressive landscape, influential in early trans studies until fire and concentration camps consumed its books and inhabitants.

In the past Porpentine Charity Heartscape was responsible for a game where you build occult devices for a skull empress and draw on your skin with sharpie, a game where you wander a cartoon world begging and starving played on fuzzy old CRT monitors, a game made of desktop folders, stories about insect women and dark rooms and being hunted. The future is sure to contain only more rampant necro-milfery and terrible genetics.

  • artists:
    Tabitha Nikolai
    Devi McCallion
    Porpentine Charity Heartscape
Porpentine Charity Heartscape is a writer, new media artist, game designer, and dead swamp milf in Oakland. She makes cursed artifacts and records the endless war. She is a 2016 Sundance Institute's New Frontier Story Lab fellow, a 2017 recipient of Rhizome's Prix Net Art Award, and a 2016 Tiptree fellow. Heartscape has exhibited at the 2017 Whitney Biennial, New York, the New Museum, New York, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. She is the author of With Those We Love Alive, Howling Dogs, Psycho Nymph Exile, and Almanac of Girlswampwar Territory, and has been commissioned by Vice and Rhizome.

apexart’s program supporters past and present include the National Endowment for the Arts, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Kettering Family Foundation, the Buhl Foundation, The Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Spencer Brownstone, the Kenneth A. Cowin Foundation, Epstein Teicher Philanthropies, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., William Talbott Hillman Foundation/Affirmation Arts Fund, the Fifth Floor Foundation, the Consulate General of Israel in New York, The Puffin Foundation, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor and administered by LMCC, funds from NYSCA Electronic Media/Film in Partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund, with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, as well as the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.