The Confidence Man
In this collection of projects by New York-based artist Graham Parker, new film and audio work, made by the artist while in residence at EMPAC in spring 2010, is shown alongside a series of alterations to the building’s environment that range from the theatrical to the virtually invisible. Parker has long been interested in spectrality—the concealing of one set of operations behind the appearance of another. His 2009 book Fair Use (Notes from Spam), explored spam emails as the latest manifestation of a longstanding mode of deception that has accompanied nearly all new developments in human transport and communication networks (the book touched on such phenomena as Nigerian spam, 19th century railroad cons and medieval beggar gangs). The Confidence Man features work that has grown out of that research—including hacked ATM machines, rogue WIFI networks, monologues drawn from spam emails and a tribute to the 1973 film The Sting.
Graham Parker is a New York-based multimedia artist and writer. His work considers contemporary digital phenomena against the historic contexts and antecedents from which they emerged—often finding unexpected, even uncanny connections between these different moments and modes. His work has been commissioned by the Tate Gallery, Henry Moore Institute, Center for Understanding the Built Environment, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Arts Council England, among others, and is held in public and private collections around the world. His 2009 book Fair Use (Notes from Spam) was described in Artforum as “meticulous historical research... a superb analysis.”