CRG Gallery is pleased to present Channing Hansen’s first exhibition with the gallery, Self Portraits, a series of stretched, knit works “composed” using the artist’s unique genetic makeup, on view from January 19th, 2017 through February 25th, 2017.
For Hansen, knitting began as a way to work with his hands while engaging his highly inquisitive mind, which often drifts between diverse subjects of mathematics, physics and cosmology. Unsurprisingly, for someone who spends much of his time contemplating origins, Hansen became intimately enveloped in every aspect of the knitting process, following the basic unit of the line— the fiber itself—back to its “roots.” Hansen uses fiber mostly derived from “conservation breeds” of sheep, as well as synthetic materials. He cleans, dyes, spins and sometimes shears the wool that he knits into organic, often unwieldy, forms stretched over virtually bare wooden stretchers. Despite the seemingly erratic movements in dimension and color, the knits are structured, or circumscribed by a systematic model: Hansen’s own DNA.
Ninety-nine percent of the DNA possessed by humans is shared. What differentiates us, gives us our particular physical traits, is a variation in the DNA sequence known as single-nucleotide polymorphism, or SNP for short. Using his own genetic sequence received from a DNA testing service, Hansen created an algorithm, which underlies the “pattern” for each piece. Shifts in color, direction, fiber content and knit quality are determined by following the “score” of twenty-three variables (referring to the twenty-three pairs of chromosomes in human cells) output from the algorithmic function. In a Fluxus-spirited manner, the “knits” as Hansen calls them, are enacted in a process between the artist and the “score” generated by the computer algorithm.
While the forms are based on Hansen’s DNA, their hybrid composition and knitted structure actualize the intermingling order and chaos that is a condition of existence for everyone. The cosmos they belong to connects us all.
The title of each work comprises four parts: The first part, RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphisms) refers to the process of extracting genomic data. The second part is the chromosome the sample was taken from. The third part is the artist’s unique SNP and the fourth part describes the genotype in question.
Channing Hansen is included in the collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Frederick R. Weisman Foundation, Los Angeles; and the Ahmanson Foundation, Los Angeles, among others. His work has been included in exhibitions such as Made in LA 2014, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; When the Sun Hits, The Pit, Los Angeles; The Word Today, Suportico Lopez, Berlin; An Annotated Exhibition, Hilary Crisp, London; The Womb Womb Room, Night Gallery, Los Angeles; and Organic/Synthetic at the Glendale College Art Gallery, Glendale, California. The artist lives and works in Los Angeles.