University of Arizona
College of Fine Arts - School of Art

School of Art Galleries

Kenni Dankert

Stay in Touch

Dissociation can feel like witnessing one’s own body and life play out through a TV screen.  Shaped by a long distance relationship to home, my practice combines an intimacy of the hand with digital processes to create nonlinear representations of daily life that encourage slowness, curiosity, and an exploration of familiar sites. I collage, glitch, and reshape era-specific imagery with personal archives to embrace a future nostalgic perspective that makes sense of the present by imagining it as the past. My work celebrates loose ends and negative space as sites of rest from ever-present currents of streams, clouds, and feeds. Using machine and hand processes, I reference a human experience that is both manufactured and alterable.

Stay in Touch  is a video and print series that mixes embroidery and performance with on and offline visuals to explore screens as bodily. Born from a personal desire to slow down and remain connected to my senses, the display of constructed memories calls attention to photographic consumption’s effect on daily life, from serotonin spikes to feelings of loneliness. ​​ I reconfigure, layer, and collage personal archives with internet iconography to visualize myself as here and there, interdimensional and editable, disoriented and empathetic.

The central video, (fomo), is an homage to the screen as a place of tenderness, refuge, and longing.  Encased in silver grass, two figures are animated by negative space to take the shape of a humanized screensaver that fades and feeds back into itself. Turn of the century computer aesthetics meet phone screen captures to reference a millennial narrative of growing up during the puberty of social media. The meditative act of embroidery works to ground the video, and stretches into the surrounding print series, Slow Bodies, to forge visual pathways that undulate between tangible and intangible. Stitch by stitch, photographic and blue light memories are pieced together to position life as a grand performance that is constantly re-negotiated and forever a WIP.

video, artificial grass, spray paint, wood 62”x42”x8”

stay in touch (1-4)
Screenprint, tinsel, embroidery on paper 17”x30”

MFA 2022