Pipilotti Rist

Sleeping Pollen, 2014

Elizabeth Charlotte “Pipilotti” Rist is is a digital media artist who works mostly with video, which is often showcased through a projector or multiple projectors. Rist’s work is often a “psychedelic” or “out of body” experience that is displayed over video, sound effects accompanying, and is often portrayed in a room with that completes the set of her exhibit. Her curious name “Pipilotti” comes from the novel Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. Rist studied first at the University of Applied Arts Vienna in Vienna, and then studied video at the Schule für Gestaltung (School of Design) in Basel, Switzerland. According to Rist, “Arts task is to contribute to evolution… to guarantee a detached view of social changes… to research possibilities and to destroy clichés and prejudices” (Luhringaugustine). Rists work has been shown in exhibits in Europe, Japan and the United States, with her work Open My Glade being shown on the screen in Time Square, New York in 2000. The work that Rist does, I believe is meant to take pop culture to the next level. Rist attempts to take pop culture to unfamiliar territory by trying to “break down the barriers between public and private space” (Artsy).

Out of all of the artists we have studied and learned about in this class so far, I’d have to say Pipilotti is one of my favorites (if not my favorite). First off- I love the message she is trying to send through her art and the boundaries she is trying to break with her work.  She’s quoted here explaining the goal of what she wants her art to accomplish in pop culture and society, “the idea (of Rists work) is that now we’ve explored the whole geographical world, pictures or films are the new, unexplored spaces into which we can escape” (Artsy). I think she accomplishes that goal exactly, especially with exhibits like Pixelwald, when she has multiple video projections being played while you’re in a room experiencing everything. You aren’t just standing around watching one screen- you’re experiencing a whole new level of this art by being in the room surrounded by the exhibit playing around you. I also very much like how most of her exhibits are interactive- that part makes her artwork stand out to me and intrigue me more. I wish I could go to one of her shows! Her older work interests me as well, with Pickelporno standing out to me. That piece of art grabs my attention because when you first look at it- all you see first, naturally, is the nipple. Then, you see the sea life (not quite sure what exactly that is) in the picture as well and the bumpiness of both the sea life and the nipple is for some reason fascinating to me.

Overall, I really liked this artists work. I like how weird it is, the psychedelic feeling to her work, the mix of the very strange and the very pop culture, how much she’s trying to break barriers, and the overall feeling this work gives me.

Heres some works of hers that I thought were cool:

Pixelwald, 2016

Pickelporno, 1992

Heres a cool video of her pixel forest exhibit:

Here are my sources:


Pipilotti Rist


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