Caleb Stein and Andrea Orejarena: American Glitch

Palo Gallery presents American Glitch, a fresh exhibition by artist duo Orejarena & Stein, marking their inaugural solo showcase in New York City.
Unveiling a series of innovative and recent photographs, American Glitch delves into the discrepancy between reality and fiction, exploring its tangible presence in the American landscape, which the duo now calls home.
Orejarena & Stein prompt viewers to ponder amidst an overwhelming deluge of instant information, leaving society to question the authenticity amidst the sea of falsehoods.
What can be relied upon in this world, and what constitutes a ‘glitch’?
To Orejarena & Stein, the dominance of screens, proliferation of conspiracy theories, spread of fake news, and the emergence of the Metaverse all raise doubts about our reality and the potential existence within a ‘simulation,’ a term used ironically to protest against late capitalism and a growing dependence on technology. Existing within an online community is akin to witnessing the ‘simulation,’ where images are shared as personal proof of encountering a ‘glitch in our reality.’
Drawing inspiration from films like ‘The Matrix’ and ‘The Truman Show,’ a ‘glitch,’ as reflected by Orejarena & Stein, Synthetic Street. Collage (2023), encapsulates the collective experience of a generation where the digital and physical realms intertwine, challenging our senses against the onslaught of conspiracies. The artists spent years treating the internet as a collective subconscious, compiling social media posts and Reddit threads showcasing ‘evidence of glitches in real life.’ These threads and images serve as a platform for a new form of community and connection across temporal and spatial boundaries.
Orejarena & Stein then capture photographs of sites across the US reminiscent of real-life glitches, such as California City – a town planned but never fully realized – with its ‘paper roads’ and incomplete avenues; or a mock Iraqi village at Fort Irwin, the U.S. Army base in the Mojave Desert. By merging traditional and contemporary photographic techniques, Orejarena & Stein transform what others perceive as artistic errors into deliberate elements that encourage contemplation on the fusion of technology, perception, and human experience.
Through extensive research on social media, the duo discovered that online spaces have fostered unique forms of community that transcend time and space, where engagement in a marketplace of ideas fosters genuine feelings of connection. Culminating this research in a comprehensive collection, American Glitch brings together photographs taken with a large-format camera intertwined with images sourced from the internet depicting ‘glitches in real life.’
Utilizing digital tools such as Adobe Photoshop and AI, the exhibition comprises large-scale prints of Orejarena & Stein’s photographs seamlessly integrated with an installation of smaller prints from the ‘glitch in real life archive,’ creating a dialogue between two modes of exploring photographic authenticity. In the midst of a flood of digital images, Orejarena & Stein occupy the space where hope and truth still hold sway.

American Glitch will lend its name to Orejarena & Stein’s second book, published by Gnomic Book, with a foreword by David Campany, curator at the International Center of Photography. Accompanying the publication is a 52-page insert featuring contributions from 36 esteemed artists, writers, and curators.

A portrait of Caleb Stein and Andrea Orejarena

About the Author

Orejarena & Stein (b. Colombia, 1994 & UK, 1994) are a multimedia artist duo based in New York. Their work explores the intersection of technology, memory, and American mythologies and narratives. Intrigued by the emergent properties of collaborative photography using a single camera, their practice delves into collaboration within an individualistic medium. Orejarena & Stein extensively research collective image production in a world inundated with visual stimuli. Their work has been exhibited globally and is housed in public and private collections, including The J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, CA), The Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, TX), The Nguyen Art Foundation (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam), The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center (Vassar College, NY), New York State Museum (Albany, NY), and The Ann Tenenbaum & Thomas H. Lee Family Collection, among others. Their collection, Long Time No See, was published by Jiazazhi Press in 2022 and is archived in the special collections libraries of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY). Their second publication, American Glitch, is slated for release in February 2024. Orejarena & Stein were named 2024 FOAM Talents, with their series American Glitch set to be featured in a group exhibition at FOAM in Amsterdam opening February 22, 2024. The duo will also have their inaugural solo museum exhibition, Tactics & Mythologies, curated by Nadine Isabelle Heinrich, showcasing works from their projects Long Time No See and American Glitch, opening at the Deichtorhallen Museum in Hamburg in September 2024.


Caleb Stein and Andrea Orejarena: American Glitch
February 9 – April 6, 2024
Palo Gallery – New York

Hardcover: 156 pages, accompanied by an essay by David Campany, and a 52 page insert
Publisher: Gnomic Book (2024)
Edition: 750 copies
Language: English
Size: 11.02 x 8.34 inches
Weight: 1.99 pounds
ISBN-13: 978-1957301044

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