Daniel Shanken

Daniel Shanken

Daniel Shanken’s practice works through systems of influence, bound within programmed flows of language and stimuli, maneuvering different mediums and materials.

Daniel Shanken’s research engages the substrates of information systems that circulate through perceptual, biological, and physical outputs. His practice aims to render these in a way that distorts the definitions found within unconscious structures of the human brain, uncovering their biases and skeletal remains.

Daniel Shanken is an artist from Los Angeles, living and working in London. Currently, he is undertaking a PhD at the Contemporary Art Research Centre at Kingston University. His work has recently been shown at Art Basel Hong Kong, Yvonne Lambert Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery, CCA Glasgow, Nottingham Contemporary, CFCCA Manchester, Kiasma Helsinki, and CGP London.

Error Catastrophe

HD video / 15:45 min / 2018

‘Error Catastrophe’ is defined as the extinction of an organism as a result of excessive mutations. Within the video this definition is used to examine dissolving cultural and biological constructs following the rapid evolution of information technology. The video reflects the confusion that comes along with this breaking transformation, through characters that are absorbed and assimilated into the content that surrounds them.


HD Video / 10:00 min / 2017

“VALS”, borrows from the outskirts of neuroscience and spiritual enlightenment. It reflects a disembodiment within models of audio visual entertainment, confusion inductions, and transcendence ideology locating itself in a place of forgetting, or fugue. It’s content was gathered through interviews, attending conventions and found material coming together in a choreography between familiarity, confusion, and ambiguity. “VALS” looks to be absorbed in the periphery where focus and attention is not fixed to the screen but can potentially move inward.

Common Descent

HD Video / 10:00 min / 2015

By examining hidden reptilian systems that unconsciously dictate basic states of subjective production, “Common Descent” attempts to surface what normally occurs in our brain without our knowledge. Through language patterns, psychedelic visual triggers, and a selection of hosts guiding the viewer through primal forms of communication, a non-dialectical version of reality emerges—one that relies on confusion and disjunction rather than linear displays of concrete information.