MANDEM
Home Tumblr Etsy Shop Facebook
Installation photo from the Uncanny Forest show

MEDIUM + MESSAGE

We are a transdigital artist. Our art is an exercise in categorical violations, simulation, and narrative (translation: we are makers, rule-breakers, tricksters, and storytellers). We work across media and materials: painting, assemblage/collage, film, sculpture, and book-making, and purposefully refuse to discriminate between physical and digital tools. (This is an integration we refer to as “transdigital”).

The final products are a union of digital and physical medium such that the two become indistinguishable, and this ambiguity of medium is utterly intentional. This is a both-neither art — a cyborg art — half digital and half organic.

Our work intentionally destabilizes genre, both in terms of content and media, an intention born out of personal identity as a queer feminists. We are interested in subtle ways to defy comfortable expectations. Our subject matter is also liminal, often featuring characters of uncertain biological identity (blurring the lines between genders and between humans, animals, and machines), or objects caught between two states of being. We create work that is simultaneously repulsive and beautiful, and I use this uncomfortable dichotomy to pull my audience in to the polyphonic narratives embedded in my work.

The work is deeply informed by our academic background in antiquities, mythography, intellectual history, and literary theory — our paintings, assemblages, and films transform the foundational myths and metaphors of Western culture to hint at a new post-postmodern (and quite often post-apocalyptic and post-human) mythos.

— mandem

 

 

MANDEM is a symbiotic pair of transdigital ex-punk artists, Maize Arendsee and Moco Steinman, working in both digital art and traditional art mediums such as oil painting, mische technique, mixed media, and acrylics. Our work has a lowbrow / underground feel, and moves between metamodernist, suggestivist, and post-pop or neo-surrealist genres. Our themes include: mythpunk and mythology; steampunk, anachronism, and alternative history; cyberpunk and human-animal-machine hybrids; monsters and chimeras; and queer feminist art. Important visual influences include German Expressionism; influential sci-fi fantasy artists such as Brom and Giger, and traditional painters such as Maxfield Parrish, John Atkins Grimshaw, and the surrealist and visionary movements. Other influences include James Barrie (Peter Pan), Lewis Carroll, Lovecraft and other Gothic Victorian writers; Bertolt Brecht and epic theater (also theater of cruelty and theater of the absurd); Robert Graves, Mircea Eliade, and the great mythographers of the Gilded Age; Jungian philosophy; the ancient Greek and Roman poets — especially Euripides and Ovid; and epic modern myth-makers such as Tolkein, Clive Barker, Guillermo del Toro, George Romero, and Neil Gaiman. Our work has appeared in gallery shows and we have designed album or book art for the Cruxshadows ("Dreamcypher" and "Ethernaut") and Abney Park ("Airship Pirates" RPG), and we designed the promotional art for the Dragon*Con 2012 Horror/Dark Fantasy Track.