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Michael Anthony Farley: Display Settings

03/24 - 03/29/2015


The series “Display Settings” considers the culture of display—and the systems that mediate it—as a starting point to work backwards towards an intuitive studio practice. Michael Anthony Farley uses digital projectors to insert scenes of museum infrastructure—conservation labs, catalogues, architectural interventions— and image editing software workspaces into his studio. These provide a backdrop (or foreground) for tableaus of physical objects and painterly gestures inspired by editing marks. These environments are documented with point-and-shoot photography with no digital manipulation, though their content and aesthetics imply extensive post-production.


“Display Settings” evolved out of the realization that the majority of site-specific installations are experienced most often as photographic documentation—collapsing a three-dimensional artwork into an indexical flat surface that could be received not so differently from a contemporary image of a “provisional painting” or “post-internet” digital work. The placelessness and infinite reproducibility of documentation might be seen as a modern foil to the historical shift from “artwork as site” to the consideration of artwork as a commodifiable image/object brought on by the adoption of canvas as the painting support of choice .


Michael Anthony Farley is an artist, curator, and critic from Baltimore, MD and part-time resident of Miami Beach. He received a BFA in Interdisciplinary Sculptural Studies from MICA and an MFA in Imaging Media and Digital Arts from University of Maryland Baltimore County. Although he went to digital art school, he has no website, but did switch to electronic cigarettes.

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