Joel Becker’s Visions of Entropy is a public zine project and installation available for free throughout CAFKA.23 exhibition zones in Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge. The collection of zines celebrates happy accidents, employing collage and experimental scan art and analogue video glitching techniques that interrogate the place of technology and control by way of a dedicated emphasis on producing unexpected, and ultimately interesting visual results. These zines explore how our digital footprints, relationships, and memories stay with us; how we stay by our own selves by reclaiming those past experiences; and how these all things, even the digital, are ultimately temporary. Our people, our memories, and our data stay with us – but only for a time.

Becker’s zines explore trippy digital autobiographies that reference his personal ethnographic research growing up alongside technology. Memory is a double-entendre as he searches his own file database to rediscover past events and friendships. However, the purported flawlessness of digital technology is ultimately challenged as those records emerge incorrect or out of context, demonstrating how memories and experiences cannot be replaced by machines and warning against attempting to outsource not just memory but thought itself as the power of technology accelerates. Becker also seeks moments of tenderness amidst the tumult of digital life, both as he escapes technology into nature and as he reclaims the stories of his digital past. Throughout the project we see experimental glitch art as both a symbol of decay and a vehicle for nostalgia — asking “what does glitch art mean?” even as the question itself visually disintegrates into meaninglessness.

Visions of Entropy will be accessible through Little Libraries in the region as a limited-run of small zines freely available to collect, keep, and redistribute amongst your friends. 

Joel Becker is a Kitchener based artist and musician. His work is focused on exploring themes of self-reflection, creative intentionality, and relationships with technology. His creative practice centers on creating and sharing art in ways that are separate from the attention economy. Joel use zines, poetry, video synthesis, xerox art, collage, mixtapes, and glitch art to explore new aesthetics, better understand himself, and make the physical world more interesting than the digital one. He mostly shares art directly with his friends and family (not through social media) because his creative practice is built around resisting the monetization of our attention and identities inherent in today’s social media. For this reason, he is particularly interested in using real-life public art as a way to share his work with the local community.

This project is made possible through the support of the Good Foundation, Region of Waterloo Arts Fund and the Keith and Winifred Shantz fund for the arts held by Waterloo Region Community Foundation.