Philadelphia, PA

Christina Kerns is a new media artist working in photography, animation, net art and printed matter. She received her BFA in photography with a minor in art history from Pratt Institute and an MFA in interdisciplinary art from the University of Pennsylvania, PennDesign. Her work incorporates ideas of individuality, socially constructed value systems and individual and cultural history. She is an Assistant Professor at Lincoln University, of PA and lives and works in Philadelphia, PA. She has exhibited in New York, Philadelphia, London, Berlin, Australia and San Francisco.

Using a contemporary American photographic vernacular, I investigate individual and regional histories and ways of expressing and archiving personal identity and culture. Concepts like ephemerality, permanence and decay influence my practice through the impermenant nature of material culture and the temporary nature of pictures on the Internet. My work catalogs images and objects that may otherwise fade into obscurity.

Travelling across the US is a pivotal part of my practice. I am fascinated by the aesthetic and social norms of small towns, particularly local history and cultural centers operated by everyday people. The organizational systems used to present material culture in these institutions parallels the way familiar images are cataloged on social media. Physical objects are arranged by the owner categorically, while pictures online are connected through hashtags and keywords created by the user. The showcasing in small town museums and picture collections online share a nostalgic, absurd and casual nature of collecting and juxtaposition that guides my practice.

After realizing our submersion in intangible technology, how do we understand material reality?