Rachel Rossin (b. 1987, West Palm Beach, FL) lives and works in New York and is an internationally renowned artist and programmer whose multi-disciplinary practice has established her as a pioneer in the field of virtual reality. Rossin’s work blends painting, sculpture, new media and more to create digital landscapes that address the impact of technology on human psychology, embodiment, sovereignty, and phenomenology.

The New York Times has stated “Ms. Rossin has achieved something, forging a connection between abstract painting and augmented perception that opens up a fourth dimension that existed only in theory for earlier painters.”

Her work is currently on view with a lobby commission and an installation as a part of Refigured at The Whitney Museum of American Art
KW on location: Rachel Rossin, THE MAW OF
15–18, 2022
Tieranatomisches­ Theater, KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin, DE

Spanning installation, sculpture, augmented reality, virtual reality, and net art, THE MAW OF features a site-specific installation at Tieranatomisches Theater (TA T), Berlin, as part of the digital program of KW Institute for Contemporary Art. Conceived as mixed-reality theatre, Rossin’s project stages a new conceptual and visual vocabulary, addressing the expanded limits of the human body and mind today.

You can watch video documentation of the installation below.
March 3–July 3, 2023
The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Rachel Rossin is included in Refigured, an exhibition reflecting on interactions between digital and physical materiality. Sculptures are simultaneously physical and virtual, while video and animation extend beyond screens and into the gallery. The exhibition brings together a group of artists—Morehshin Allahyari, American Artist, Zach Blas and Jemima Wyman, Auriea Harvey, and Rachel Rossin—who engage with the concept of “refiguring,” appropriating material forms and bodies to re-create and reinvent them. Refiguring becomes a process of imagining alternative worlds as a means for constructing identity.
February 3–May 28, 2023
Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo, IT

A Leap into the Void looks at those artists like Rachel Rossin who, at different times, have investigated the dimension of the void in relation to the theme of matter—thus denying it in substance or identifying it as a mere ideal or imaginative dimension—or whose work has proved capable of reflecting epochal changes in the perception of the material dimension and in material culture itself, introduced by the emergence of the paradigms of software and computerization, as well as by the digital revolution and its social absorption.
Rachel Rossin: THE MAW OF
Artport, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

In THE MAW OF, Rachel Rossin takes current research into brain-computer interfaces as a starting point to explore the historical development of the relationship between bodies and machines. The artist highlights how technology has evolved from its function as an extension of the body, enhancing its abilities, to more profound and invasive levels. Devices from smartphones to virtual reality headsets already mediate our personal and social lives, and research labs increasingly test the merging of hardware and living organisms. Rossin makes these developments palpable by weaving together visuals that capture an array of technological platforms in an experience mediated by screens, blurring the boundaries between digital and physical.
"A clear marrying of the two; some of her paintings include embedded holograms. One such combine, "Boo-hoo (brain)" (2020), features a close-up of a pink face with bright blue tears pouring out of the eyes. Above the eyes is a hologram of a brain that rotates continuously. While the inclination might be to search for a projector or hidden screen, the holograms are installed in the works themselves. The figure in "Boo-hoo (brain)" is one of many avatars from the digital realm depicted in both the painted and holographic elements. The pink figure is joined by others from Rossin’s digital library, including cats and harpies, perhaps avatars of the artist herself."
–Annabel Keenan, Artillery Magazine
"I often regard color as the hormones of a painting. In this body of work there are a lot of areas of what could be read as soreness or inflammation. Red, glowing edges of things, subsurface scattering... I am consistently attracted to very specific pigments - my consistent companions are pthalo, sevres, alizarin, and vermillion."
–Rachel Rossin, as told to Brooke Nicholas, Whitehot Magazine
Rachel Rossin's works have been exhibited at prestigious institutions around the world; including the KW Institute of Contemporary Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Kiasma Museum of Helsinki, K11: Shanghai, The New Museum, Rhizome, The Hyundai Museum of Seoul, GAMeC of Bergamo Italy, HEK of Münchenstein Basel Switzerland, ‘Kim’ Museum of Riga Latvia, The Sundance Film Festival, The Carnegie Museum of Art and the Casino Museum of Luxembourg. In addition to her artistic practice, Rossin has also lectured at Stäedelschule, Google, MIT, Stanford, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her work has been published in several notable publications, such as "Video/Art: The First Fifty Years" published by Phaidon, "Chimeras, Inventory of Synthetic Cognition" by the Onassis Foundation, and "Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century” by MIT Press.

Rossin's works are in the permanent collection of institutions such as Borusan Contemporary Museum of Art in Istanbul, The Zabludowicz Collection, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her work has been widely covered in the press, including National Geographic, The New York Times, The BBC, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Wired Magazine, and many others.

Rossin was recently co-commissioned by the KW Institute of Contemporary Art in Berlin and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York to create an installation and digital artwork entitled THE MAW OF. This work was also included in Refigured, a group exhibition at the Whitney on view through July 3rd. Rossin has a forthcoming solo exhibition at Magenta Plains in 2023. The artist lives and works in New York, NY.
Rachel Rossin is included in Chimeras: Inventory of Synthetic Cognition (Onassis Foundation, 2022), a volume which attempts to disassemble and reformulate what one might understand as AI by taking apart both notions of 'artificiality' and 'intelligence' and seeing what new meaning they produce when recombined.
Technology is supposed to increase our access to knowledge, making the world more legible, while undermining ignorance and superstition. At least, that’s what we are told. But it sometimes feels like we have entered a new dark age of black boxes. In computer science, a black box is a unit of software or hardware that interacts entirely through its interface. What happens inside it is opaque; veiled in shadow. Users of black boxes may only partially understand how they work, but can easily observe their effects in the world.

Open Secret (KW Institute of Contemporary Art, 2022) pursues this topic through numerous artistic commissions and essays by leading thinkers like Rachel Rossin. Additionally, the project critically examines the digital infrastructures that organize civic life. Discourse takes place in hybrid online-offline formats, and are realized in collaboration with a diverse group of interlocutors
Image Captions:
Portrait of Rachel Rossin. Image courtesy of the artist, photo by Elisabet Davidsdottir.
Installation view, Rachel Rossin: THE MAW OF, KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin, DE 2022. Image courtesy of the artist and the KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin, DE.
Rachel Rossin, stills from The Maw Of, 2022. Web-based animation with augmented reality (AR). Commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art for its artport website and Kunst-Werke Berlin Institute for Contemporary Art AP.2022.1. © Rachel Rossin
Installation view, A LEAP INTO THE VOID. ART BEYOND MATTER., GAMeC, Bergamo, IT 2023.
Rachel Rossin, Boo-hoo (brain) (detail), 2020, Oil, airbrushed acrylic, and graphite on panel with embedded holographic display, 20 x 16 in.
Rachel Rossin, Figment of A Fugue State (detail), 2020, Oil, airbrushed acrylic, and enamel on panel with embedded holographic display
60 x 48 in.
Installation view, Rachel Rossin: Boohoo Stamina, Magenta Plains, New York, NY 2021.
Product Image, Ed. Manouach, Ilan and Engelhardt, Anna. Chimeras: Inventory of Synthetic Cognition. Onassis: New York, 2022.
Product Image, Ed. Samman, Nadim. Open Secret. KW Institute of Contemporary Art: Berlin, 2022.
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