Secret Wars 5.1.whatever is the latest installation of an ongoing project that explores how digital culture and the internet’s convoluted information can be represented by tactile materials and alternate media.
Secret Wars is a Marvel Comic miniseries from the mid 80s. A group of divergent characters are beamed onto a planet in order to fight each other and the powerful cosmic figure that brought them there. This was followed by Secret Wars II, which started the same way, but fell apart with the cosmic figure having an existential crisis and the plot becoming similar to a soap opera of the same era. In his work, Puryear continues the quixotic Secret Wars story by bringing in additional characters to the melee and adding a layers of debris from the internet’s anti filter.
In these works, thoughts of digital culture, socio-economic-environmental degeneration, survival, frustrated bureaucratic logic, AI, brutal operation of power, image distribution, and cyberpunk intersect and materialized in two opposing video sculptures. They are jumbled amorphous amalgamations of material with a graphic depiction of the characters represented and embedded in video screen. The narrative movie portrays a group of fictional characters, living and dead, trying to escape from a internet web browser environment maze. Each of the characters have been trapped in a system or role in their own lives and are now trapped in a forced exile that may or may not have an end.
Adams Puryear is a New York based sculptor. He received a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and an MFA from Indiana University Bloomington. Adams exhibits regularly throughout the United States and maintains a studio in Brooklyn, NY.