Janna Avner creates artworks and writings that respond to new technologies. As a curator of art exhibitions in the VR/AR space, Janna finds hybrid approaches to understanding the 2D arts via the Z-plane axes. Janna was quoted in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Paris Review. Her writings on Artificial Intelligence were selected for “What Future: The Year’s Best Ideas to Reclaim, Reanimate, and Reinvent Our Future,” a 2017 best-of-anthology (by Unnamed Press) considered by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the best science books of the year. Janna graduated from Yale University in 2012.
Janna cofounded FEMMEBIT, a digital art festival celebrating women artists based in LA. Avner’s artworks and curations have been presented in Vice/ Creators Project, Hyperallergic, LA Weekly, and ArtNews. In 2018, Janna co-created the Nook Gallery Los Angeles, a Sci + Art + tech gallery with artist Richelle Gribble in Inglewood, CA, for which Janna is now a contributing curator and arts writer. From 2015 – 2016, Janna ran a science + art lecture series in Chinatown LA as a gallery director at Discoveries in American Art. Janna has also been a guest speaker for UCLA’s Digital Media Arts Department (2017), and the New York Times School (2019).
Janna’s art practice exposes audiences to new ideas and ways of structuring 2D and 3D space to enable socially progressive platforms to occur. Her research centers on the relationship between empathy and art, as well as technology’s effects on the physical body, which leads to self-exploration and self-understanding.
Considering how form is constructed in virtual and augmented reality software, Janna incorporates reflective materials into her artworks, such as refraction gradients (holograms), geometric pigment, metallic spray paint, resin and other reflective/ multi-reflective mediums. These additional mediums alter three-dimensional illusions for unrealistic and realistic depictions of traditional subject matter. In this regard, mimetic representation is dismantled so as to create alternative realities that probe the imagination and elicit emotional and psychological responses.
Janna might be considered a “painter’s painter,” yet she disavows the hierarchy of art making in which this terminology is reinforced by the conceptual marketplace and pluralistic discourses. She has come to realize that there are no problems in “painting as a discourse,” per se; there are problems in the verbalizing pursuit to deconstruct and understand it through art institutional pedagogy.