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Ashley Campbell is an interdisciplinary artist from Los Angeles whose work probes the intersection of digital and physical realms, exploring themes of alternate realities, commodity fetishism, and the continuous transformation between tangible and digital forms.

My artistic practice is rooted in process-based research, manifesting as a type of pastiche—an interdisciplinary collage of video, ceramics, sound performance, and sculpture. I rely on spontaneity and experimentation, beginning my work in a predominantly formal manner— responding and reacting rather than planning and organizing. By remaining open to circumstance, instinct, and impulse, I find that ideas coalesce and form around particular objects or materials. Gathering and arranging this information becomes an almost stream of consciousness-like endeavor, bringing a piece into being. This approach allows me to engage critically and conceptually along the way. Processes and ideas form an interwoven structure, each relying on the other to expand the possibilities and potential meaning of the work.

Central to my practice is the exploration of alternate realities and parallel universes as lived experience. I create spaces that feel familiar yet warped, as if existing in a dream. Through the lens of commodity fetishism, I visually represent the insane and bizarre accumulations of our existence in re-contextualized arrangements. This serves as the conceptual bridge throughout all my work. Oscillating between the digital prime and the physical prime, I contemplate how to portray the liminal—a threshold of transformation, the in-between. I approach the digital/ physical relationship in a more literal manner. A.I. text-to-image technology is not fully refined; it often yields very strange, glitched results. This generated image is used as a reference for a ceramic sculpture, then scanned and inserted back into the digital realm via a video. I take figurines and create images with a flatbed scanner and digitally alter the image using the clone stamp in Photoshop. These images are then printed and placed in overly adorned frames of mixed materials. The physical becomes digital becomes physical and so on.

This process of layering allows me to point at the concept of digital space and blur the boundaries between ideas of high and low. My work purposefully walks a fine line between visual pleasure and tackiness, drawing inspiration from kitsch. Kitsch, in its classical definition, is something that strives to be art and fails. A.I. text-to-image generation also strives and fails in this regard, and therefore, I view it as modern kitsch. I use the poodle icon, a quintessential kitsch object and class symbol, and digitally "overbreed" it. By repeatedly replicating and transforming it, its original form gets more removed from its origin, akin to how a meme infinitely reinterprets an image.

I question what it means to work with a material like clay that has traditionally been used by humans for thousands of years and combine it with artificial intelligence, which is being referred to as the biggest technological advancement of the modern era. A machine or object gives nothing and also everything—how do I visualize this tension? What is the symbol of desire? Why does one desire? From what source does desire emerge? As I navigate the interplay of these materials, aesthetics, and symbolism, I strive to create immersive work that invites viewers to explore the complexities of contemporary existence, where the physical and the digital converge and diverge in a continuous state of transformation.