I think it’s the midnight sun (just hangs low on the horizon line) but it could also be a mushroom cloud (1) From: Midnight Sun, Alaskan Landscape Studies, Summer 2021

No Longer Available




oil and acrylic on canvas board


11" x 14"


My paintings, sculptures, and videos emphasize cognition and perception by the generation of physical and digital experiences. When viewed from oblique angles, my work reveals the interactions of projected light filtered through optical effects resulting in a recreation of the Aurora Borealis. I produce phygital works where liminality, in-between spaces, and experiences outside a colonized world offer new possibilities.    As a multi-heritage, Alaska Native (Koyukon Athabaskan), I document natural light in the Alaskan and Californian terrain to reimagine perception as indigenous, subliminal, and theoretical. The work insists that perception is as much a simple act as it is a subjective creation. “False light” permeates my pieces, and may appear artificial and other times, genuine. Light itself is not objective; it bends and twists, invoking the unsolvable particle-wave paradox in quantum mechanics. This shifting and unresolved framework guides my physical and experiential image making.   Using light as a material, I reclaim the romanticization of landscape imagery, otherwise intended for policies of manifest destiny that drive tourism, commerce, and profit, by providing expansive interpretations of indigeneity, perception, and the environment. As a visual metaphor, projections of beadwork and indigenous imagery become the light that moves through everything, embodying continuity in relation to past and present technologies. Digital, traditional, and upcycled materials can form hybrid objects of a progressive and ancestral imaginary. If we perceive and are therefore active participants in the optical viewing of phenomena, my work speculatively asks what is seen when imagining the future.

About this Artist

Janna Avner

Janna Avner

Janna graduated from Yale University in 2012 and is a Masters candidate at California State University Northridge (2022). Janna’s current thesis focuses on displacement, technology theory, and indigenous futurism. Janna’s paintings and digital art have exhibited at Keystone Gallery (Los Angeles), ETTA Studio in collaboration with the house of collections (Korea), NOT ART Gallery (Iran), Spring/Break LA (2019, 2020), Ars Electronica, CultureHub, The Java Project Gallery, The Allen and Leah Rabinowitz Gallery, The Bendix Building, SUPERCOLLIDER, San Luis Obispo Museum, Torrance Museum, UNICEF USA, Matsudo International Science + Art Festival (Japan), Hive Gallery, and Other Places Art Fair. Her artworks and curations are covered in Vice, Hyperallergic, LA Weekly, Artforum, ARTNews, the Los Angeles Times, the Paris Review, and the New York Times.  Janna was a guest speaker for UCLA’s Digital Media Arts Department (2017) and the New York Times School (2019). Her writings on Artificial Intelligence were published in…
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