Artist Talk at the Innovation Studio + Store: Chris Combs

Wednesday / April 17 / 6-7pm

Join us for a conversation with current Innovation Studio artist in residence Chris Combs and Blair Murphy, MoCA Arlington’s curator of exhibitions, about Combs’s new wall-sized installation The Next Big Thing.

The Next Big Thing recreates the form of Katsushika Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa with industrial components like LED strips, colorful Ethernet cables, and reels of surplus electronic components. The artwork addresses the cycle of hype surrounding new products and incorporates the artist’s own Google, Facebook, and Twitter data profiles, as well as responding to the faces and presence of viewers.

Interact with the completed work in person and hear more about its inspiration, concepts, and construction in our artist’s talk beginning at 6:15pm. Free.


Hosted at the Innovation Studio + Store located at 525 14th Street S Arlington, VA 22202


Chris Combs
b. 1984, Virginia
Lives and works in Washington, DC & Mount Rainier, MD

Chris Combs is an artist whose sculptural artworks both incorporate and question technologies. His show Supercycle (IA&A at Hillyer, 2023) focused on cycles of hype, such as AI and cryptocurrencies. Outsized Effects (Gradient Projects, Thomas, WV, 2023) includes the room-sized Allegheny Data Company, examining data mining through the visual lens of coal mining. Industry Standards (McLean Project for the Arts, 2023) featured 18 works made from reclaimed and surplus industrial components, reflecting on disruptive technologies, surveillance, and environmental destruction. Lossiness (VisArts, 2021) explored the boundaries of human perception. The Algorithm Will See You Now (Transformer, 2022) addressed algorithmic bias and failings of “AI” products. Judging Me Judging You (DCAC, 2018) dealt with surveillance and control, and the 35 machines in Maelstrom (Rhizome DC, 2021) spread rumors about their visitors. Madness Method, a public art collaboration with David Greenfieldboyce, was part of 2021’s Georgetown GLOW.

Chris is a three-time recipient of the DC CAH Arts and Humanities Fellowship program and was shortlisted for the 2021 Aesthetica Art Prize. He is a graduate of the Corcoran College of Art + Design and was a photo editor for National Geographic. He joined Otis Street Arts Project in 2021.

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