Rouzanna Berberian explores the relationship of culture and technology in her painting practice. She uses the imagery from communication devices to underscore our daily interaction with analog and digital circuitry.
Berberian is interested in technological innovations and devices such as Radio Frequency ID Tags, Bar Codes, and Flexible Circuit Boards that make monitoring, data collection, and storage possible. Flexible circuit boards, which are instrumental in development of compact devices such as cameras, smart phones, and computers have pristine and efficient designs. Intrigued and inspired by their minimal, yet intricately complex designs, Berberian disassembles these devices. She finds anthropomorphic shapes in these designs, which she paints as invented icons of human features.
These abstract figurative shapes become large-scale paintings that resemble Russian and Greek religious icons. The ambiguity in the composition between the object and the ground signifies the dual functions of technology, both facilitating and obstructing. The unpredictable curves of the flexible circuit boards or the geometrically shaped components become symbols that address social issues of privacy, digital mapping, and data caption. Berberian’s oversized paintings with their clean lines and bright colors are portraits of today’s most—at times, unconsciously—worshipped icons; the miniature pieces of precious metal that allow us access to the world.