Screen Time: Luke Rizzotto

Screen Time: Luke Rizzotto

Luke Rizzotto is a digital media artist whose work examines memory, nostalgia, and yearning as it relates to place and travel through the creation of unreal landscapes and liminal spaces. Originally from the New Orleans, Louisiana area, he currently resides and works in Reno, Nevada. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and he is currently a Master of Fine Arts Candidate and Instructor at the University of Nevada, Reno, graduating in the spring of 2024.

Through travel, Rizzotto believes one enters a state of transience – vulnerability, both physically and emotionally, while going from one place of safety to another. The process of experiencing this transience for Rizzotto, develops a feeling of yearning. “The yearning for something else is, to many, what drives the desire to explore and experience something new – whether that’s far-off physical spaces, nonexistent memories, or utopian tomorrows.” Rizzotto creates digital realms from this mindset to greet the yearning for exploration with ephemeral interaction.

His billboard “Upcoming Forecasts”, creates a frame within a frame. A billboard displayed in a billboard that illustrates an expected weather pattern for Northern Nevada within a computer generated landscape. This doubling effect catches the viewer reflecting on their current physical environment as if the virtual form is a mirror.

For his Screen Time, Rizzotto has an “off day” to have some tedious studio time. While working through a new piece for his MFA thesis exhibition, we find out where is wondering mind goes to inspire his work. From philosopher’s YouTube, vaporwave tunes, Scott Pilgrim to All Quiet on the Western Front read through for Rizzotto’s day in the life and all off digital and physical media he goes through.

Be sure to check out Rizzotto’s MFA Thesis Exhibition, “Eternal Sunset: Experiential Area”, at Student Galleries South at the University of Nevada, Reno from March 12-20, 2024 with his artist talk and reception Thursday March 14, 5-8PM.

Tuesday 2/13/2024

Wake up, it’s my “off day” (not teaching this morning) so I take my time getting up. I watch some YouTube videos (a Horses philosophy video on modern city living/transcendent alien and some lethal company clips) while I eat my breakfast of a frozen breakfast burrito and slice of king cake. It’s Mardi Gras today, but you wouldn’t know it from looking around. It really is true what they say, it’s just Tuesday everywhere else. There’s not much I truly miss about living in Louisiana, but Mardi Gras is up there with my friends and family. At least we have Nevada day. I pack a lunch of ramen, peas, and another slice of king cake and bike to the studio at school.

Once I answer emails and fill out expense reports, I get to work removing the vinyl from a PED XING sign I’ll be making my own vinyl icon for which will be in my thesis exhibition. I put on vcrsea’s album visualdesign’97 on Bandcamp and get to work, seeing if a heat gun will make removal easier and less destructive, or if I’ll just have to chip away at it, scratching the sign in the process. It’s slow going but definitely an improvement. I take a break and scroll Instagram, I find Kayla Mattes’s work, I’ve seen her work on explore before, but now I bite the bullet and follow her.

I get back to work and find the right temperature to get the vinyl to peel off easily. I also figured it’d be a good idea to move this outside so I’m not filling my studio with fumes. It takes a little bit to get the vinyl and adhesive hot enough to peel, but it easily beats picking away at it with a plastic scraper. Sometimes I’m able to get a really big piece all at once.

I break for lunch and finish the Horses video essay, “technology pulls us farther and farther away from reality” is a Heidegger quote used that resonates, especially as I make work that uses technology to explore states of reality/unreality. Living in todays world our ancestors made for us with all its technology and all its stifling of the human spirit in favor of growth and progress is certainly discouraging, but all I can do is keep chugging along and find meaning and joy where I can. At least according to a channel called Horses. I move on to a video by RobWords about words that are “ruined”, like bemused, disinterested, or literally.

I get back to work, put on Atlantic Memories, and finish the sign. The round head came off in one piece very satisfyingly. The PED XING icon remains like a ghost, this could be an interesting piece in and of itself. Perhaps after thesis…

I put goo gone on the sign to clean up the residual adhesive and let that sit while I get a coffee (decaf, caffeine affects me too much nowadays but just the thought of drinking coffee gives me a pick me up). I finish cleaning the sign and start looking at fragrance oils online (for my thesis exhibition, my work labels are gonna be scented car fresheners with the label info printed on them.

After researching (looking at Amazon reviews) if “old books” and “night sky” will smell like they say, I order those and a bunch of other scents (from the sellers own website).I then go to the gallery I’ll be showing in (student galleries south on unr’s campus) to measure what length of cords I’ll need for an installation involving a number of photographic lightboxes suspended from the ceiling.

After ordering the cords and doing some school paperwork, I head home. I’m glad I have an e-bike now because the walk/ride up the hill I live on is too much and I absolutely hate trying to find parking by school.

After getting home and “unwinding” briefly by reading some SBNation, I get back to work, finalizing the sky colors for some thesis works. This time I listen to some blank banshee radio.

I get to a stopping point (maya froze on me) and I get ready for the Holland Volunteer appreciation party (another good reason to volunteer at Holland!).

Get back from Holland, get to work again on some thesis things, listening to more BLANK BANSHEE radio.

Finish up work, and put on an episode of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off with yet another slice of king cake. After the episode, I read a chapter of All Quiet on the Western Front and hit the hay.

Check out Rizzotto’s pieces and artist highlight from our recent exhibition FLASH FRAME, and his artwork featured in our February Billboard Gallery.