Coco Young

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Artist Statement

A photographic image contains raw data extracted from the physical world. It can be altered and then re-distributed back into the physical world, or simply left in the digital “cloud.” My work explores the changing status of the image-as-object its ability to exist beyond two dimensions. As I observe the disappearance of photo-as print in my daily life, I am inspired by the polymorphism of the medium. As the photographed object is further away from itself and closer to its virtual-self, I experiment with different possibilities of translating an experience, a fact, a thought, into an object. To me, a photograph has become a situation and I am interested in how it can be portrayed through different forms such as video, sculpture, drawing, a series of symbols etc.

With “Lucky Pennies” series (img 01-07) I make note of what ends up in my pocket at the end of the day, I attribute each object to a symbol found in lottery and gambling imagery and with each day’s design, I approach an unknown person through a crowdsourcing platform to render my design by hand. The rendering is then re-digitalized into a vector file which is then mechanically engraved on copper. This exercise of chance explores the indexical nature of a photograph and, after digital and analog procedures, creates a three dimensional object, inspired by copper pennies found on the concrete sidewalks of New York City and the luck they supposedly bring. This blend of analog and digital procedures can also be found in 20th Century Plastic (img 08-09), a lightbox sculpture based on a found panoramic photo album from the 1980s only composed of sunsets and seascapes. For this project, I digitally morphed the front and back images of each page, making the physical album transparent and I select three of these images to “layer” between thick pieces of clear plastic in order to create the illusion of a three dimensional image, where sky and ocean merge together.

My recent video Seven Steps (img 10-11) critiques human’s mediated relationship with nature and points to its limitations and dangers. With high resolution images, nature has never seemed closer, but has never been further away. My screen is simultaneously a window and a crystal clear wall as the retina display of my computer replaces my own, desensitizing me from the environment, at a critical time for our planet. Untitled video (img 12) is a two-minute video loop made up of PDFs from an overhead scanner at the Columbia University Avery Library. With my “Tokens” project (img 13-15,) I reduce the physicality of current and former lovers to their bare minimum state by scanning the three dimensional surface of their bodies, and applying a digital algorithm to the 2D images. I then bring them back into the physical world via 3D digital printing. Totem (img 16-17) is a blend of all the subjects of “Tokens” into one (the three stacked volumes can be manually rotated to create various combinations of the totem.) Vanity (img 18-19), a book of photography and of body scan represents the bridge between my older analog photographic work (from 2007 to 2013) and my newer exploration of the 3D form. Using the Greek myth of narcissus, who falls in love with his own reflection (his virtual self,) I explore the difference between body as image and body as form.





BA Art History, Columbia University

Group Exhibitions


Salon Ford, New York, NY, First Viewing

LeRoy Neiman Gallery, Columbia University, New York, NY, Advanced Photography Intensive Exhibition



San Fransisco Arts Quarterly International Arts and Culture, The Armory Show 2015


Sex Magazine #8, Fiction, “Best Summer Ever!”

Flash Art Online, “New Feelings” at 87 Canal

Alldayeveryday, Coco Reviews: Sebastian Black “Unique Newark”

Alldayeveryday, Coco Reviews: Pawel Althamer “The Neighbors”

Alldayeveryday, Coco Reviews: Alex Katz at Gavin Brown

Alldayeveryday, Coco Reviews: Lygia Clark

Alldayeveryday, Coco Reviews: Sophie Calle “Rachel Monique”

Alldayeveryday, Coco Reviews: Matt Keegan and Anne Truitt

Alldayeveryday, Coco Reviews: Rob Pruitt “Multiple Personalities”

Alldayeveryday, Coco Reviews: Dena Yago “Distaff”

San Fransisco Arts Quarterly International Arts and Culture, Interview with Korakrit Arunanondchai

Marfa Journal, Interview with Grear Patterson


Sex Magazine #5, Fiction, “John B”

Marfa Journal, Interview with Aaron Bobrow

Alldayeveryday, Coco Reviews: Le Corbusier “An Atlas of Modern Landscape”

Alldayeveryday, Coco Reviews: “Digital Expressionism” at Suzanne Geiss

Alldayeveryday, Coco Reviews: Colin Snapp “National Charter”

Alldayeveryday, Coco Reviews: Martos Gallery “Lonely Girl”

Artist Projects


“Vanity” Monograph published by Bemojake, London, edition of 500


“Boys Boys Boys” Self published zine, edition of 100


“I Open My Guts For You” Self published photography and poetry zine, edition of 100