Shor belongs to the new generation of New Media artists, who delineate the use of cutting-edge technologies to formulate a contemporary art language. Based in San Francisco, New York, and Tel Aviv, she created an original collection of code languages produced in real time. These serve her as a personal dictionary from which she composes an abstract, minimalist, and geometric world of images, which forms an interdisciplinary dialogue that involves architecture, fashion, music, and contemporary culture.
CryptoMania brings the cyberworld and human/machine relations in the post-digital age into the world of art. Shor explores abstract themes like identity, language, and borders, contemplating their place and relevance in contemporary life.
In her video work Eve, which presents a portrait of a woman composed of tens of thousands of flickering pixels, she wrote a code which displays at any given moment pixels taken from several portraits of Israeli women. The fabricated portrait presents the ethnic diversity that exists in Israeli society. The elusive image confronts the question of identity in the digital world, which shifts between the private and the public and between the familiar and the hybrid.
In the piece The Book of Life, an interactive animation of black and white coordinates is projected on a sculptural object in the shape of a large open book. In this piece, Shor pushes the boundaries of familiar language to more abstract possibilities of communication. This dynamic handwriting seems to be writing, erasing, and writing itself over and over with impenetrable structural complexity. In the new video work, Strange Days, she makes further use in the architectural linear language. This time she projects it on the body of a woman, creating a fragment of the limitless living code. In the encounter between the human female body and the technological language of the line, Shor examines the line between man and machine/web. Is the body “trapped” in the web? Or has it been connected into it for so long that they are now one? And perhaps now it attempts to encrypt itself in order to maintain its privacy?
The exhibition’s title, Cryptomania, is a composite of the word Crypto, a technological trend that expresses the encryption of private information as a reaction to the digital world that offers no privacy, and the word Mania, which expresses the negative an irrational aspect that comes with any modern technological trend.
Shirley Shor holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Art History from Tel Aviv University, a degree in Criticism and Theory from Camera Obscura, and a master’s degree in Conceptual Information Art from the University of San Francisco, California.
Shor works have been exhibited in museums and galleries in New York, California, Tokyo, and Israel, among others at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York, and Paule Anglim Gallery in San Francisco. Her works an included in the collections of San Francisco Modern Art Museum (SFMOMA), Berkeley Art Museum, The Jewish Museum, New York, and private collections around the world. She was a guest lecturer at Berkeley and Stanford. Her work Goddess, from a series of portraits comprised of the faces of “Louis Vuitton” models, was displayed at New York Armory Show to much acclaim, and was defined as the show’s most innovative piece by The New York Times.