Emerge relies heavily on viewer interactivity. It features childish cartoon figures that are projected onto a wall. Visitors control the movement of the figures and change them through these interactions. The figures in this piece can be seen as fables about our own daily struggles and activities as they move, expand, and escape. In Emerge each character is inside of an individual chamber and this examines, in a humorous way, the illusions that drive us and the small worlds we confine ourselves to. They cover all available surfaces, reacting to viewer’s intrusions into their small worlds. Emerge is part of the Exempla series and is the first item in the above video.
Artist Brian Knep often uses humor as a tool to re-engage the viewer so they are receptive to his work and to a new perceptual experience. This approach is very successful as humor makes his work approachable and entertaining even when it is actually quite content heavy. He states that his works purpose is to enlighten his audience, “For me, that’s what art is about, to try to give people shivers, to try to open them up to a new way of thinking or to revisit an old way of thinking that they’ve forgotten about.”