Press Release

November 17, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 2, 2021
MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Passey | BrianP@ScottsdaleArts.org | 480-874-4626

Luke Murphy Debuts Solo Exhibition at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

Luke Murphy, “CampFire 2.1,” 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Canada, New York. Photo: Joe DeNardo.

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) is presenting “Pixel-by-Pixel: Interventions by Luke Murphy,” the first solo museum exhibition for the New York City-based artist.

“Pixel-by-Pixel” includes dynamic LED sculptures that undermine and liberate technology from its commercial form and function. The exhibition is on view Oct. 30, 2021, through April 10, 2022.

Murphy has long been drawn to the overwhelming saturation of imagery that advertises products or services surrounding him in New York City, usually on some sort of large LED screen. These screens have become part of his landscape. Murphy became interested in using this same LED technology to create artworks that challenge their intended application by transforming the screens into sculptural forms instead of the usual flat planes we are used to seeing.

Julie Ganas, curator of engagement and digital initiatives at SMoCA, said Murphy’s work recontextualizes the LED screen in ways that reveal its innate humanity and the fragile materiality of the technology, challenging the illusion that technology is seamless and autonomous.

“I think what Luke is doing is quite subversive,” Ganas said. “He is taking the invasive LED screens that we typically overlook and creating thoughtful sculptural forms that are not aimed at selling products to consumers as they were intended to.”

Murphy programs his works using open-source code with commercial software and hardware to create animation sequences, pixel-by-pixel, that infinitely generate on LED matrix panels. Each sculpture has a unique animation alluding to his approach to abstraction that is influenced by his background in painting.

The artist’s interventions in “Pixel-by-Pixel” are momentary interruptions in the Museum, activating spaces often overlooked and challenging viewers to look closer at the technology that we encounter daily in a more critical way.

“Screens have become so familiar that we seem to look past them, but Luke is inviting us to see them in a new light.” Ganas said. “He is presenting an alternative way to experience the screens that we have become so accustomed to and encourages a more mindful approach to technology.”

“Pixel-by-Pixel: Interventions by Luke Murphy” is organized by Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and curated by Julie Ganas, curator of engagement and digital initiatives.

SMoCA is located at 7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale, Arizona 85251. It is open Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., and on Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Visit SMoCA.org for information.

Admission is $10 for non-members; $7 for students, seniors (65+) and veterans; and free for Scottsdale Arts ONE Members and patrons 18 and younger. Admission to the Museum is free every Thursday and every second Saturday of the month. View our safety protocols at SMoCA.org/reopening-guidelines.

SMoCA would like to thank its 2022 season sponsors:
Billie Jo and Judd Herberger
Airpark Signs & Graphics
S. Rex and Joan Lewis Foundation
Tamar Weiss, in memory of Emil Weiss