Felt Zine and Public Works Administration Gallery—an art gallery located directly underneath Times Square—is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition “ALGO (+),” featuring work by counter-cultural internet artist Jawn Diego Reyes, curated by FELT Zine.
Jawn Diego Reyes is interested in the dynamic interplay between the physical and digital realms, as well as the tension between surveillance and privacy. “ALGO (+)” explores the contrast between the anonymity of graffiti culture and the transparency of NFT art on the blockchain. NFT art uses blockchain technology to verify ownership and authenticity, while graffiti often values anonymity. This contrast raises questions about the value and authenticity of art: if ownership cannot be proven, does it make the work less valuable or authentic? The exhibit will showcase the same pieces online, in a gallery, and on the streets of New York, inviting viewers to reflect on how the space where the work is presented affects our perception of its value. The gallery will also feature a live feed from surveillance cameras monitoring the pieces on the street, providing insight into how people interact with the work in an uncontrolled environment.
Diego Reyes’s approach to digital collage is similar to that of a DJ. He takes a single character and remixes it multiple times over, resulting in completely different composition each time. This process invites the viewer to see the character in a new light with every iteration. This approach was first introduced by Diego Reyes in 2021 with his “Algo” VR sculpture series, which minted unique variations of his work. The digital sculptures in this collection were all handcrafted by the artist, resulting in one-of-a-kind pieces. This distinguishes the collection from code-generated PFPs, which are sold in a similar blind box format but lack the personal touch of the artist. In “Algo(+),” the artist takes this body of work further by turning the characters from his 3D sculptures into digital prints and moving them into the physical world.
Jawn Diego Reyes is an artist and founding member of the FELT Zine collective. Jawn’s current work explores the relationship between the digital/physical and codifying language into symbols.
FELT Zine is an internet art collective that creates digital and in-person experiences to examine digital activism, hip-hop culture, race, gender, and class through the medium of web3 and metaverse projects. The collective was founded in 2011 as an independent fashion magazine, soon after transitioning into an art collective, and eventually producing 3D and digital art NFTs. Felt Zine also hosts IRL art parties and curates exhibitions worldwide. It recently partnered with fashion powerhouse Givenchy to create an NFT-enhanced fashion collection, and was included in the Dazed100 class of 2022.
PWA’s exhibition of Jawn Diego Reyes’s new body of work reflects the gallery’s commitment to spotlighting underground artists who use digital tools to drive culture forward. PWA is Sam Black and Alison Sirico.