Kailum Graves is an artist and binary archivist critically obsessed with the artifactual digital object. Through artworks, writing, and curatorial projects he investigates the hidden and invisible structures of power. He does this by contemplating themes as diverse as economic inequality, the algorithmic nature of digital photography, the bombardment of media imagery, the politics of fear and the threat of otherness, the shifting boundaries between bodies and technologies, photographic manipulation and its representation of reality, and celebrity culture. While this interest stems from very personal experience and is a way for him to begin to understand, accept, and deal with his own post-traumatic stress, angst, anxiety, and depression, his work addresses ideas, metaphors, images, themes, (dark) humour, feelings, and symbols which are universally shared (the nuances of human existence). Kailum majored in art history and philosophy at the University of Queensland, graduating in 2011 with an Honours dissertation focused on American Internet-based activist group The Yes Men, Russian collective Voina, and international hacktivist group Anonymous as a way into discussing the wider practice of culture jamming, and to question the efficacy of political art under the hegemony of multinational capitalism. Career highlights include being exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra; international exhibitions in the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Switzerland, China, Brazil, Denmark, Iceland, and the United States; being a finalist in numerous international and national art awards; participation in an international conference in Mexico City; residencies in Skagaströnd, Berlin, Beijing, and Changsha; speaking engagements at the 2018 Critical Animals Creative Research Symposium; winning the inaugural BigCi and Red Gate Gallery artist residency exchange program; being awarded a funded residency, commission, and exhibition at PLAN8T; being featured in Digital America; receiving Arts Queensland and Australia Council funding; winning the 2016 Clayton Utz Art Award; and being acquired by the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery’s permanent collection. He was the founder and totalitarian head honcho of An Evolving Thesis—a website established to investigate and debate the cultural economy—and was the Director and Dictator of The Goodwink Conspiracy, an online residency program and curatorial platform.
Image: Heavy-Eyed Tyrants and Boring Machine Operators, 2020
single-channel high-definition digital projection, 04:45 minutes (looped), 16:9, colour, sound