Artist of the Week

Theodore Darst

October 14, 2013

Theodore Darst is an artist based in Chicago, IL. His video, prints, and interactive digital environments have been exhibited at numerous venues including 319 Scholes (NYC), (online), Jean Albano (Chicago), The Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), and The Museum of the Moving Image (NYC). In addition, he has provided live visuals for a variety of musicians including The-Drum, Disclosure, Mister Lies, Slava, and Supreme Cuts. He was a 2013 HATCH Projects Artist in Residence at the Chicago Artists Coalition and is a 2016 MFA candidate at Bard.


Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I’m an artist based in Chicago, IL. I make videos, prints, and video game environments. I also make music videos and do live visuals for some bands.


How has living in Chicago affected your art practice? Coming to Chicago and participating in the so called “dirty new media” scene was incredibly influential in terms of expanding my notions of the potential of art made with computers. I think the absence of a strong commercial scene leaves room for consistently interesting work to be shown. The cheap rent prices have had a huge enabling affect on my ability to maintain an art practice.

Who is your ideal studiomate? None. I really like to work alone.

What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? Right now I’m making some visuals for Mister Lies who is touring again soon and some other new visuals for VIA Festival in Pittsburgh in October. Working on a new piece for a screening coming up at Transfer gallery in Brooklyn and trying finish my screenplay for a documentary I’m making about Fred Durst.


What artists are you interested in right now? Currently looking at anything by Travess Smalley, Sara Ludy, Joe Hamilton, Laturbo Avedon, Sabrina Ratté, Andrew Norman Wilson, Kate Steicw. I saw a great video by Robert Chase Heishman recently that I’ve been thinking about a lot.


What past trends in art do you think should never come back? 92% of experimental film stuff. Leaning objects against walls to signify IDGAF status. I guess this isn’t really a “past trend” but the whole selfies as a new form of art thing is played out.

What are you reading right now? Currently reading Going Public by Boris Groys. I recently finished this book about the rise of Al Qaeda pre-9/11 called The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright which was pretty incredible. I try to keep up with whatever essays get published on Rhizome or Dis.

Any current or upcoming shows we should know about? I’ve got some work in a show called Technoromanticism here in Chicago that’s up through October 16th at Jean Albano in River North. Coming up I’m doing some visuals at VIA festival in Pittsburgh and have work in two shows outside the US: YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A SAILOR TO FIND AN ISLAND at NNM.Gallery in Lima and Tactical Glitch at Sudlab in Naples.

Describe your current studio or workspace. My studio is in my home in Chicago. It’s really ideal. It’s quite a bit of space and it’s got a porch for smoking. My girlfriend works from home too but we have a fair amount of space so we don’t step on each others’ toes too much during the day.

What were you like in high school? Stoner jock. B+ in visual arts.