James Clar is a light and media artist. His work analyzes the effects of media and technology on our perception of culture, nationality, and identity. He studied film at NYU and received his Masters from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. It was here that he began developing his own light systems to create visual sculptural works that combine light and technology.
James Clar’s interest is in new technological production processes and their application to artistic narrative forms. His work often deals with the perception of reality and the information systems that create it. For his last exhibition in New York he filmed Japan’s top professional videogame players in a movie, interviewing them and asking if their dreams occur in the videogames they play, making their dreams take place in a virtual space. For an exhibition in London he placed an EEG reader onto the central processer of a computer while it played a seamless loop of the movie eXistenZ, thereby recording the ‘brainwaves’ of a computer while it ‘thinks’ about a simulated reality.
James creates systems that tell narratives lying on the edge of perception. By overlapping non-physical spaces (dream world, virtual world, or spiritual world), constants like gravity and space becomes pliable material. His interest is in the potential for storylines or narratives to exist.
From 2006 till 2012 James’ studio was based in Dubai where he became an active participant in the arts and culture scene of the globalized city. From 2012 till 2020 he moved his studio back to New York, and more recently James has started to develop projects in Japan, China, and the Philippines.
Clar was an artist in residence at Eyebeam Atelier in New York, Fabrica in Italy, and the FedEx Institute of Technology/Lantana Projects in Memphis. He has previously held studio practices in Tokyo and Dubai, and was an artist in residence at Eyebeam Atelier in New York, Fabrica in Italy, and the FedEx Institute of Technology/Lantana Projects in Memphis. His artwork has been included in exhibitions at Glucksman Museum (Dublin), The New Museum of Contemporary Arts (New York), Pera Museum (Istanbul), Cam Francis Museum (Barcelona), MACBA (Barcelona), and SeMA (Seoul). He has been commissioned to develop largescale installations for 21c Museum Hotels (Oklahoma), Parasol Unit Foundation for the Arts (UK), Fraport Headquarters (Frankfurt), and Dynatrace (Linz).
James Clar lives in Tokyo with studio production in Manila, Tokyo, and New York.