Zenith by Patrick Durgin
Zenith (2015-2016) is the third in a series of printed objects or “artist’s books” by Patrick Durgin, each with the dimensions of a 7” vinyl record. Zenith is a set of seven scratch off cards with the revelatory promise of pre-loaded Macintosh desktop wallpaper images, e.g. of a pinkish Mt. Fuji, or prairie grasses dangling in the breeze. Zenith cites a history of broadcast technology, addiction as a faultless economic engine, and gaming as a way to withhold suspense.
Durgin began the series in 2013 with Daughter. Daughter is a set of offset prints, photographic details of preliterate “writing” alongside the iconic imagery of early childhood educational materials—especially sticker books that introduce and enforce monstrous race, class, and gender norms as platforms for developing fine motor skills. Next was Singles (2014): a set of 3-D acrylic prints, unplayable records whose faux center labels feature minimalist couplets concerning skeuomorphic nostalgia and contemporary artisanal capitalism. (For more on Singles, read “Witness My Own” at Jacket2.)