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Aaron Wilder

Aaron Wilder is an interdisciplinary artist who blurs boundaries between the analog and the digital, the public and the private, and the unassuming and the instigative. He uses experiences and sense of identity as a lens through which he explores the introspective and social processes of contemporary culture. Through an analytical deconstruction of these processes, Wilders artistic approach is akin to that of an anthropologist, sociologist, and psychologist combined. His projects all incorporate a core belief that art should be used as a tool for generating critical thinking, dialogue, knowledge sharing, and understanding between individuals with divergent perspectives.


Originally from Arizona, Wilder has also lived in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and France and currently resides in San Francisco. He has been creating art since 2002, received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2017, and has been featured in 24 solo exhibitions and 82 group exhibitions since 2005.

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In contemporary capitalist society, marketing concepts saturate the fabric of daily life. "Core Values" is a series that seeks to explore the marketing-centricity of a major aspect of our day-to-day reality: employment. Whether a for-profit, a nonprofit, or a government agency, employers use marketing concepts in their aspirational core values statements. These statements are used in many ways, but play a key role in recruiting new employees. Core Values can paint a somewhat unrealistic portrait of what a typical employee's experience is supposed to be. Often, daily interactions with coworkers, supervisors, and clients can present communication that contradicts the employer's aspirational core value statements. "Core Values" interrogates the space between the employer's marketing efforts and the daily interactions in the workplace and asks the question: "What communications are most foundational in building a sense of reality for employees?" The series is designed for large photography and vinyl text wall installations (anywhere from 48 to 83 inches tall and 95 to 141 inches wide). The photographs are manipulated appropriated stock photography of employer propaganda sized at 16 by 20 inches. The statements in this series are some things I remember conveyed to me when I worked in the management consulting industry that, to me, seemed to contradict my employer’s core values. These are not direct quotes from identifiable individuals, but are instead what I understood to be insinuated from communications from multiple interactions. This project seeks to make more visible some of the factors that impact the human labor experience and its relationship to survival in a seemingly inescapable capitalist system from the perspective of a marginalized or non-normative identity.

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