June 1 - June 29, 2024


Timeshare is pleased to present Health Life, a solo exhibition by Ian James. 

Health Life is half of a larger exhibition spread across two sites, the other located at Et al. in San Francisco’s Mission District, which will open June 7. The exhibitions feature photographs of post-war pyramid architecture framed in cast aluminum, as well as colored pencil drawings atop found consumer electronics.

Since early 2015, the artist has been making pilgrimages to pyramid sites on two continents. What began as an exploration into a recurring aesthetic trope within New Age ephemera has evolved into a long term photographic and motion picture project. The work posits the wide-ranging use of the architectural motif as a microcosm of the functions of late capitalism as well as positions the understanding of capitalist economics as a type of fundamentalist religion, practiced obediently by its subjects.

The photographs in Health Life derive from Disney World’s EPCOT Center, a Seventh Day Adventist church in Garden Grove, a mausoleum in Southern Florida, and a roadside notary south of Las Vegas. James’ earlier journeys to vortex locations, including Sedona and Mt. Shasta, inform the approach to these sites as energetically charged locations of Capitalist Metaphysics. In light of this and the difficulty of reaching many of these sites, James views the trips to locations as farflung as Nekoma, North Dakota; Le Perthus, Spain; or Surrey, British Columbia as a type of spiritual pilgrimage and approaches the locations with reverence, while 
maintaining a critical approach to thinking about these sites in this time of chaotic freefall.

In tandem with the photographic works, the artist creates colored pencil reproductions of charts and graphs from Jose Argüelles’ Cosmic History Chronicles on several pieces of aged consumer electronics. A theorized star base of the reincarnated city of Tollan, is drawn across the front of a Ricoh Aficio MPC4000 multipurpose printer and booklet maker. Similar to the pyramid form, the copy machine as an entity, has been a 
recurring theme in James’ work dating back to his exhibition The Harmony of the Noosphere (2020), which saw the use of the object in the form of backgrounds for photographs of used copy machine warehouses throughout Los Angeles, as well as in UR-TEMPLE (2021), which featured a VR environment with a discoverable portal that allowed viewers to orbit the earth with a cadre of these machines.

In Health Life, the artist has brought the machine into the exhibition as a ground for his Argüelles drawings. James considers the metaphysics of the toner-based printer, which electrifies paper to precisely bind toner to form an image. The drawings atop the found electronic objects point towards their consciousness as objects and to the consciousness that exists within electrons at the sub-atomic level. For James, this type of panpsychism is significant given electrons’ relationship to electricity and his use of electrified objects in the production of his work. Argüelles, through his writing and visual output, argued that our technology is created as an attempt to rectify the problems created by humanity due to our running contrary to the natural cycles of the earth, moon, and sun.

Accompanying Health Life and RIP Hard Rock Cafe, Myrtle Beach (Et al.) are two editions. Risograph posters produced by Special Effects function as a vortex map, charting the exhibitions’ pyramid sites alongside other sites of geological, cosmological, and historical importance. Additionally, a facsimile service manual for the Ricoh Aficio MPC4000 has been reproduced in two spiralbound volumes, overlaid with a selection of research images from the artist’s archive.

Ian James is an artist primarily working in photography who lives and works in Los Angeles. He has presented solo exhibitions at The Fulcrum, Hernando’s Hideaway (Miami), Five Car Garage, Vacancy, and Self Actualization (Houston), as well as group exhibitions at The Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, the UNLV Barrick Museum, Roberts Projects, REDCAT, and Holiday Forever (Jackson, WY). He was an artist in residence at SÍM in Reykjavik, Iceland and The Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY) and has upcoming residencies at ZK/U Berlin, Sandnes kommune in western Norway, and the Yucca Valley Material Lab. He has an upcoming monograph to be published with The Fulcrum Press. His work is held in the permanent collection at Los Angeles County Museum of Art and he is an adjunct professor at Otis College of Art & Design, Art Center, and Pasadena City College.