Morning Mirror / Evening Mirror by Laturbo Avedon launches on the Whitney’s Artport

The Whitney Museum of American Art today announced the debut of Morning Mirror / Evening Mirror by LaTurbo Avedon on artport, the Whitney’s portal to Internet art and online gallery space for commissions of net art.

Morning Mirror / Evening Mirror is a Sunrise/Sunset project—a series of Internet art projects commissioned by the Whitney specifically for whitney.org to mark sunset and sunrise in New York City every day. For this project, LaTurbo Avedon created fourteen videos, which depict digital flythroughs of a 3-D apartment, that play within the frame of a virtual mirror that is overlaid on whitney.org.

Seven distinct scenes, for sunrise and sunset, respectively, are shuffled for playback each day, offering glimpses into the apartment inhabited by Avedon’s virtual selves. Functioning as both a surface for reflection and a window into a different world, Avedon’s mirror presents whitney.org visitors with a variety of scenes, from nature flourishing across living rooms to green screens and stage lights consuming the home studio. Visitors anywhere on whitney.org during sunset or sunrise will experience Morning Mirror / Evening Mirror.

“The experience of virtual existence lies at the core of LaTurbo’s practice,” said Christiane Paul, adjunct curator of digital art at the Whitney Museum. “This work feels particularly resonant in our current moment of heightened physical seclusion and increased digital engagement. On a daily basis, we see ourselves mirrored in online environments where the private physical spaces in which we lead our often-isolated existence are inserted into the public virtual world.”

For the past ten years, LaTurbo Avedon has worked exclusively as an avatar, spending thousands of hours on the creation and exploration of virtual worlds and identities. Their long-held fascination with virtual mirrors led them to create a proposal for a mirror emoji, which was accepted and released as part of the Unicode 13.0 emoji character library in 2020.

Morning Mirror / Evening Mirror communicates peculiarities of virtual reflection, rendering scenes that exist at the threshold of virtual worlds and the environments in which our computers reside. As online communication has increasingly become the dominant mode of connection during a time of global lockdown, Morning Mirror / Evening Mirror highlights the blurring of our virtual and physical existence and the pauses, repetitions, and transformations occurring in a state of shelter and isolation.

The Sunrise/Sunset series is organized by Christiane Paul, adjunct curator of digital art at the Whitney Museum. Unfolding over a time frame of ten to thirty seconds, each project disrupts, replaces, or engages with the Museum website as an information environment. More information on the project is available at https://whitney.org/exhibitions/laturbo-avedon.

About the Artist
LaTurbo Avedon (b. 1988) is an avatar and artist creating work that emphasizes the practice of nonphysical identity and authorship. Working as an avatar since 2008, Avedon has spent the past decade exploring the ever-growing intensity of the relationship between users and virtual experiences, pursuing creative environments that deepen the meaning of memories found in cyberspace. They curate and design Panther Modern, a file-based exhibition space that encourages artists to create site-specific installations for the Internet. Avedon’s process of character creation spans gaming, performance, and exhibitions. Their work has appeared internationally at venues including TRANSFER Gallery (New York), transmediale (Berlin), Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel, the Whitney Museum (New York), HMVK (Dortmund), the Barbican Centre (London), Galeries Lafayette (Paris), and the Manchester International Festival.

About artport
Artport is the Whitney Museum’s portal to Internet art and an online gallery space for commissions of net art and new media art. Originally launched in 2001, artport provides access to original artworks commissioned specifically for artport by the Whitney; documentation of net art and new media art exhibitions at the Whitney; and new media art in the Museum’s collection. Audiences can access the portal by visiting https://whitney.org/artport.

The Sunrise/Sunset series launched on whitney.org in 2009 with Untitled Landscape #5, a project by the collaborative ecoarttech. More recent commissions include American Artist’s Looted (2020), Kristin Lucas’s Speculative Habitat for Sponsored Seabirds (2019), and Lady Ava Interface (2018) by Carla Gannis. Using whitney.org as their habitat, Sunrise/Sunset projects capture the core of artistic practice on the Internet, the intervention in existing online spaces. More information on the series is available at https://whitney.org/artport/commissions/sunrise-sunset.

About the Whitney
The Whitney Museum of American Art, founded in 1930 by the artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875–1942), houses the foremost collection of American art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Mrs. Whitney, an early and ardent supporter of modern American art, nurtured groundbreaking artists at a time when audiences were still largely preoccupied with the Old Masters. From her vision arose the Whitney Museum of American Art, which has been championing the most innovative art of the United States for more than eighty years. The core of the Whitney’s mission is to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit American art of our time and serve a wide variety of audiences in celebration of the complexity and diversity of art and culture in the United States. Through this mission and a steadfast commitment to artists themselves, the Whitney has long been a powerful force in support of modern and contemporary art and continues to help define what is innovative and influential in American art today.

Screenshot of Morning Mirror / Evening Mirror at sunrise