“[Chris] Combs is a local artist who specializes in work that’s savvy to, but also skeptical of, technology. He does gallery shows often, but always with new inventions and often previously unexplored subjects. ”—Mark Jenkins, The Washington Post, July 21, 2023
Through handmade and custom-fabricated hardware, software, and enclosures, the electronic sculptures of Chris Combs respond to themes of surveillance, control, and algorithmic bias—and the viewer, using facial recognition and motion sensing. He works with a wide range of practices to create circuit boards, software, and enclosures for his sculptures, which both embrace and question technology.
Chris Combs is an artist based in Washington, D.C and Mount Rainier, Maryland who creates provocative technology. His show Supercycle (IA&A at Hillyer, 2023) focused on cycles of hype, such as AI and cryptocurrencies. Industry Standards (McLean Project for the Arts, 2023) featured 18 works made from reclaimed and surplus industrial components, reflecting on disruptive technologies, surveillance, and environmental destruction. Lossiness (VisArts, 2021) explored the boundaries of human perception. The Algorithm Will See You Now (Transformer, 2022) addressed algorithmic bias and failings of “AI” products. Judging Me Judging You (DCAC, 2018) dealt with surveillance and control, and the 35 machines in Maelstrom (Rhizome DC, 2021) spread rumors about their visitors. Madness Method, a public art collaboration with David Greenfieldboyce, was part of 2021’s Georgetown GLOW.
Chris is a two-time recipient of the DC CAH Arts and Humanities Fellowship program and was shortlisted for the 2021 Aesthetica Art Prize. He is a graduate of the Corcoran College of Art + Design and was a photo editor for National Geographic. He joined Otis Street Arts Project in May, 2021.