Brittney McCray

Artist Statement 

The influence of technology on contemporary society has deepened divides in communities across the globe. We witness news outlets, social media, and digital technologies impacting the way we perceive information and interact with those around us. The role of these technological advancements has left the world skeptical of their use for the betterment of our world, but my work explores the immense potential these technologies possess for healing rather than destruction. Through videos, projections, and installations, I confront our understanding of technology’s limitations by manipulating our perspectives on the conflicts burdening today’s society.

My work addresses the quest for catharsis in dealing with the traumas and inherent anxieties of the world. I utilize contemporary issues that have personally impacted my life to create a larger universal commentary that allows my viewers to gain new and opposing perspectives. As I dissect these matters, I bridge the divides of political, cultural, and societal dichotomies that keep our communities in conflict with one another. In doing so I quell my own internal turmoils and promote overcoming the perpetuated hate disseminated through today’s media and digital platforms.

In my recent works I have translated this artistic methodology to tackle issues of the consumption of meat and the tumultuous nature of politics in the United States, where I experienced the cruelty and belligerent nature that ensues when debating these topics. I watched these conversations dissolve from issues of morality to a competitive yearning to be the possessor of absolute truth. The lack of omniscience in the human race makes the feat impossible, and yet we are still driven to possess it. The advent and rapid progression of technologies has left us with the illusion that absolute truth is within our grasp. This notion has been weaponized to fuel the conflict that keeps humankind from uniting behind truth, beauty, and experiencing the world around us.

Through my videos and projections, I toy with language to create these alternate views of contemporary issues. I utilize sound bites, often from famed modern politicians, alongside video installations. I have collected testimonies from individuals I have interviewed and translated their words into reimaginations of their answers. The underlying themes are accentuated through a vibrant, often neonic, palette that catches the eye much like consumerist advertisements and digital media use to sell products or promote an opinionated viewpoint. Other bodies of work undermine the popularity of the internet GIF, transforming these time looped moving images into a critical commentary through the inherent humor and recognizability of this growing digital visual language.

The foundation of my artistic practice is to investigate the subjects that divide our communities. Through video, installations, and time-based mediums I leverage technology to reframe the issues. As I reclaim these mediums from their status as an agitator, I reveal their ability to be a form of individual and collective healing. As I continue to take on the role of a digital assembly artist, I heal my own personal outrage and provide an alternative voice to help others in these times of extreme separation.

Curriculum Vitae

Education

2023 MFA (Forthcoming), The University of Nevada, Reno, NV (expected 2023)
2016 BA, The University of Nevada, Reno, NV
2013 IGETC, Los Rios Community College, Sacramento, CA

Professional

2017­–Present Coordinator, Visual Communications and Marketing, UNR, Reno, NV
2014–17 Production Artist (Graphic Design), The Factory, Reno, NV

Awards and Scholarships

2022
Official Selection, Trouble (Collaboration with Glenn Barbosa), Cordillera International Film Festival, Reno/Lake Tahoe, CA
Honorarium, Canyon Flats Video Wall, The City of Reno Arts & Culture
Commission, Reno, NV
Holmes Art Scholarship, Reno, NV
2021
Official Selection, Trouble (Collaboration with Glenn Barbosa) Film Stream Award Festival Lake Tahoe, CA
Best Music Video, Trouble (Collaboration with Glenn Barbosa) Nevada Short Film Festival and Film Festival Circuit, Reno, NV
Craig Sheppard Art Scholarship, Reno, NV
Eggar Graduate Art Scholarship, Reno, NV
2020
Lucy Nieder MFA Scholarship, Reno, NV

Exhibitions and Screenings

2023
Thesis Exhibition, (Forthcoming) Student Gallery South, Reno, NV*
Digitally Deciphered, Physically Ephemeral, (Forthcoming) Sierra Arts
Foundation, Reno, NV
2022
Review Show, (Forthcoming) Student Gallery South, Reno, NV
Your Body is Art,
(Forthcoming) Canyon Flats Video Wall, Reno, NV*
Trouble, Screening, Cordillera International Film Festival, Reno/Lake Tahoe, CA
Break the Mold Series (Collaboration with NRAP), City Hall Metro Gallery,
Us.,
 E.L. Chord Museum School, Reno, NV
2021
Schism, Student Gallery South at UNR, Reno NV 
Space, Place, Environment, Student Gallery South at UNR, Reno NV 
430 Apart 11 Together, Grant Hall Gallery at UNLV, Las Vegas, NV
Trouble, Screening, Nevada Short Film Festival, Reno, NV
2020
Visions, Student Gallery South at UNR, Reno, NV
Break the Mold (Collaboration with NRAP), City Hall Metro Gallery, Reno, NV
2019
Break the Mold (Collaboration with NRAP) Whittemore Gallery at UNR, Reno, NV
2015
Three Views, Screening, H.Art Lounge, Placerville, CA*
2009-10
Group Exhibitions for Third Saturday Art Walks (Monthly), The Upstairs Art Gallery, Placerville, CA

Curation and Gallery Experience

2021
430 Apart 11 Together, Grant Hall Gallery at UNLV, Las Vegas, NV
2012
Encaustic Art Exhibit, Suzanne Bell, The Upstairs Art Gallery, Placerville, CA
Power of Art in the Healing Process, The Upstairs Art Gallery, Placerville, CA
2011
Shirley Manfredi, The Upstairs Art Gallery, Placerville, CA
2010
Geoff Boyd, The Upstairs Art Gallery, Placerville, CA
Michael Hoffee, The Upstairs Art Gallery, Placerville, CA
2009
Karone Owen, The Upstairs Art Gallery, Placerville, CA
2009–12
Group Exhibitions for Third Saturday Art Walks (Monthly), The Upstairs Art Gallery, Placerville, CA

Publications with Featured Art

2021
Defunkt Magazine, Volume VIII, p. 88, Man Feeds Things to Me, Houston, TX 

Community Service and Volunteering

2019–Present
Artist and Web Designer, Restless Artist Theatre, Sparks, NV
2021
Artist and Assistant, North Valleys High School, Reno, NV
2019
Artist, Break the Mold Series, NRAP, Reno, NV
2014
Digital Artist Assistant, Erika Harrsch (Artist in Residence), Reno, NV
2009-12
Volunteer/Artist/Curator, The Upstairs Art Gallery, Placerville, CA

© Brittney McCray 2021