Joseph Farbrook

Artist Statement


I am continuously compelled to peel away layers of cultural illusion. Not the illusions of life or nature, but rather those that we create for each other. I have been investigating the covert relationships between language and perception, the Internet and consciousness, advertising and behavioral trends, politics and xenophobia, and stereotypical perceptions of normalcy. The structure of these relationships is often latent, yet it is the controlling force of human interaction.

I am fascinated by the continual play and the dynamic fluidity between symbols and phenomena, and I have set out to explore the illusions within each. Using artistic media to challenge the steadfast rules of human existence, I strive to stir things up where there is stagnation. It is within a breaking from conditioned connotations and the scrambling of possibilities that new ways of thinking emerge. New thought ultimately leads to innovation, which furthers human cultural evolution.

The method I use for cutting through illusion is to create hyper-real fiction. Although this may seem contradictory, within the space of fiction one can create exaggeration and so expose what is camouflaged by means of an amplified illumination. Going to an extreme can draw attention to what is hidden, by enlarging it to ridiculous and shocking proportions.

My means for communication entails the use of the Internet as an artistic canvas, as well as creating 3D virtual environments, video installations, short films, and audio works. Merging physical and virtual spaces, my work often includes network components to gallery and museum installations. The growth of the Internet has made it possible to view it as a clearinghouse for networked consciousness, an artistic medium, and an infinite expansion to the traditional gallery space.

Joseph Farbrook Bio

Joseph Farbrook is a multimedia artist and digital art professor specializing in alternative uses for video game technology, virtual installations, and photography. He was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1963. His parents were both artists (his father was a concrete poet and his mother, a painter). Farbrook's artwork has been exhibited nationally in museums and galleries in Brooklyn, Washington D.C., Minneapolis, Denver, Boulder, St. Louis, Tampa, and internationally in South Korea, Guatemala City, Palestine, Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Santiago. Recent venues include the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, The Soap Factory in Minneapolis, and the International Center of Bethlehem, Palestine. He is Assistant Professor of Digital Art at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA. Interactive Media and Game Development program, Humanities and Arts