Video Artist and Video Gamer
Angelica Verdan is a Filipino American video artist deconstructing the idea of digital presence and how it manifests and functions differently than physical identity. Inspired by video games and online communities, she uses video, projection, and other digital media to study how people interact and express themselves in all spaces.Angelica began her professional art career after receiving the Aunspaugh Fellowship from the Department of Art at the University of Virginia. Angelica has exhibited in galleries, museums, and festivals worldwide including the 16th Digital Graffiti Festival at Alys Beach, Florida, US, the Czong Institute of Contemporary Art in Gimpo, South Korea, and the Japan Media Arts Festival at the National Art Center in Tokyo, Japan. Most recently, she participated in the Sidewalk Video Gallery at Fountain Street Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts, US. Angelica is currently based in Virginia, US.
Exhibitions and Screenings
Sidewalk Video Gallery
A 24/7 public viewing gallery for video and other digital media art at Fountain Street Gallery. Boston, Massachusetts, US. November 2 - 29, 2023.
The Wrong Biennale: Continuous Interlude
An infinite break from work, worries, from life happening AFK (away from the keyboard). It can instigate a fond feeling and at the same time, a melancholic anxiety of the present, a loopable experience of pauses. The Wrong Biennale, Online Pavilion. November 1, 2023 - March 1, 2024.
Arte Pubblica e Metaverso
A hybrid multimedia installation spread across the island of Venice, navigable through an app download. Venice, Italy. July 17 - November 2, 2023.
16th Digital Graffiti Festival
Projection art festival showcasing digital technologies and celebrating projection work. Alys Beach, Florida, US. May 19-20, 2023.
To Be Fully Seen
Single Channel 9:16 HD Video, 2 min 24 sec, 2022
To Be Fully Seen is an introspective self-portrait that grapples with identity online and in real life. Video games and online communities were a source of comfort that eventually became pure escapism. As my escapism grew, I found it harder and harder to separate my two selves. When my worlds started to collide, it forced me to ask questions. Where exactly did "Angelica" end? Where does “Lynn#1536” begin? Do others see what I want them to see? Can I trust others with my IRL identity and other parts of myself? Pixels can only hide so much — we leave traces of ourselves everywhere. To Be Fully Seen explores this constant balancing act through the frame of a smartphone. I invite the viewer to reflect on their own identities and define, or redefine, who they are in all spaces.
Documentation of installation at Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, VA.
The Buffoon, the Quiet Servant, the Enemy
16-channel video installation, 2014-15
The Buffoon, the Quiet Servant, the Enemy is a 16-channel video installation exploring the representation of Asians and Asian Americans in the media. Issues in the physical world are translated into the digital using recognizable icons and actions, allowing one to reexamine these situations in a new, familiar light. BQSE is immediately overwhelming, but its complex layers are shed as the viewer spends more time with the installation.
Documentation of installation in Ruffin Hall at the University of Virginia.
Double Click to Open
Single channel HD video, 3 min 41 sec, 2015
Double Click to Open analyzes the form and function of the cursor by removing it from the digital world and placing it in the physical one. The video shows a cursor projected onto closed doors, but the doors do not open even if double-clicked. Double Click to Open explores the human relationship with technology and interface, revealing how we have come to expect various interactions with all types of interfaces.
Documentation of installation at the 19th Japan Media Arts Festival at the National Art Center in Tokyo, Japan.
Single channel HD video, 5 min, 2015
Silenced Thoughts briefly explores the dynamic between minorities and majorities seen in the media. Issues in the physical world are translated into the digital world using recognizable icons and actions, allowing one to reexamine these situations in a new, familiar light.
Single Channel Video Projection, 1 min loop, 2023
Insomnia is a visualization of the mind's noise over time while trying to sleep. Born out of frustration, each frame is an abstract pixel image created during every restless night, totaling 120 individual images. Insomnia is looped and projected in physical liminal spaces to parallel the seemingly endless transition between being awake and being asleep.Alt Title: I Can't Sleep, I Can't Draw, So I'm Going to Play with Myself Instead
Separation of Church and State
Single Channel Video Projection, 2022
Separation of Church and State is an appropriation projection piece in response to the reversal of Roe v. Wade. In the tradition of projection bombing, the image was displayed and documented in several locations as digital graffiti.
Dual Channel Video Projection, 5 min, 2015
Download deconstructs our relationship with transference and time.Documentation of installation in Ruffin Gallery at the University of Virginia.
Pass the Sticks
Single channel video projection, 6 min 47 sec, 2015
Pass the Sticks showcases the nonverbal language of video gaming.Documentation of installation in Ruffin Gallery at the University of Virginia.
Hypertext-based Game, 2022
Lion Messenger is an interactive chat log following my own conversations with God throughout the Christian season of Lent. Conversations are added regularly. Each entry's content is unplanned: I have no idea what each day will bring nor how the conversation will unfold.Lent has always been an important spiritual season in my life. In following Catholic tradition, simply giving up things for Lent was never particularly helpful for me. Instead, I found choosing to start something new was far more healing. This project was initially born from that - I wanted to be more intentional with Jesus.Lion Messenger is now my second piece referencing my spiritual life, but it's my first directly addressing it. My relationship with Jesus is unconventional by all means. It feels only natural that I process this significant aspect of my life through my art practice. I invite the viewer to read and experience a slice of my personal chat history as I continue to seek some higher truth.
Hypertext-based Game, 2021-2023
Permanent Transition explores the seemingly endless cycle of depression and escapism using the language of video games. With the cursor as one's controller, the viewer navigates a maze of cyclical choices detailing one's hopes and fears while stuck in the in-between. Upon completion, a new game plus mode unlocks and reveals a hidden layer available in another playthrough. Inspired by text-only interactive fiction, Permanent Transition gives the viewer agency and allows them to be active participants in this emotional exploration.The gamification of my depression served two purposes. First, it was a means to process how video games were a double-edged sword of comfort and escapism. Second, it provided a method to share my experience with others. The application of game elements to non-game contexts allows us to see how we as players and people engage and understand our environment. The viewer is invited to experience another world that may be surprisingly similar to their own.
For the Server of Flesh in The Wrong Biennale, I had the opportunity to recreate Permanent Transition, a 2D hypertext-based game, for a 3D space. The challenge allowed me to experiment with different elements and explore a new dynamic with the audience. While the game elements may vary, both versions of Permanent Transition retain the same vision: Permanent Transition explores the seemingly endless cycle of depression and escapism using the language of video games.