Joelle Dietrick + Owen Mundy

Joelle Dietrick + Owen Mundy

Computer-Based Art | Davidson

The North Carolina Arts Council supports diverse and innovative artists with fellowships professional development and more to enhance the state’s brand and drive economic impact.

The artist team of Joelle Dietrick and Owen Mundy have long been interested in how our lives intersect with macro-economic, social, and cultural trends, both in their individual and collaborative work. Dietrick has explored the human impact of global trade, with an especial focus on housing markets. Her series, Sherwin’s Wall, zeroed in on the housing crisis and the subsequent foreclosure epidemic in large-scale wall paintings whose energy captured the upheaval viscerally through, in the words of Michelle Grabner, a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, “the brutalism of the graphic qualities and the ironic color forecasts.”

Mundy’s concerns have drawn him to the confluence of public space, information security, and big data.  His most famous work is an online data visualization entitled I Know Where Your Cat Lives that tracks the images and location of over seven million cats worldwide using metadata tags from social media. At once playful in its conceit, trading on the Internet’s fascination with felines, and profoundly disturbing in its illustration of vanishing individual privacy, it demonstrates powerfully how art can transcend borders and be a part of larger cultural discussions. As Daniel Barna lamented in his commentary on, “Owen Mundy just ruined the Internet.”

Together Dietrick and Mundy have created mobile apps, single and multi-channel generative animations, and large-scale installations, blending their content interests across a variety of expressive platforms. They continue to develop their collaborative work with the help of Fulbright grants to Germany, Chile, and China in 2017 and 2018.  They have exhibited internationally for a number of years and their work has been the subject of numerous critical essays and articles. Both artists graduated with M.F.A.’s from the University of California at San Diego and now live in Davidson, where Dietrick is an Assistant Professor in the Art Department. As a collaborative team, they share a 2018-2019 N.C. Arts Council Artist Fellowship.