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Val Shamma

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I was born in Pennsylvania into a family that owned a record store. When I was four, we moved to Colorado where my parents operated a video rental store for fourteen years. Media culture has been influential to the way I live my life and the subject matter of my work.

My work reflects my experience of the entwinement of daily life and consumer electronics. I am investigating the influence that technological progress narratives have on the creation of material obsolescence and the relationships we have with electronic devices before and after they are deemed obsolete. This inquiry takes shape through a series of ceramic representations of electronic devices merged with organic form. As I sculpt, I mark the faux media objects with evidence of human presence through hand-modeled formation. Dreamlike notions of electronic consumer products and fleeting interactions with quotidian devices are embedded in my sculptures through interactions between my hands and clay as I perceive the objects I am referencing. My intention is to shape effigies and emulations of technological aesthetics with an awareness for the clumsiness of that intention. I utilize juxtapositions of off-kilter ceramic forms and found materials from disparate eras of electronic media culture to unearth relationships among objects that signify object nostalgia and desire as interactions between objects and humans change based on newly released tech products. The resulting sculptures have a presence of personal devotion to the devices that derive from and contribute to technology-based creativity, communication, and memory. I seek to understand the malleable meaning of object-human interaction within the sphere of consumer electronics.

Val Shamma attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA where he earned a BA in Visual Arts and Art History in 2016. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.