Algorithmic Unconscious – Group Exhibition Nov 4th
Curated by Phillip Stearns
OPENING: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4TH, 2011 6:30-11:30PM.
LOCATION: 54 Majuer St at Lorimer. L to Lorimer, G to Metropolitian
Digital is anti-noise. In the shift from analog, physical, or chemical forms of art making—where physical agents operate on physical material—to digital, the noise of the medium is minimized (controlled) as a default of the technological substrate.
Algorithmic Unconscious highlights machine/human collaborations where the primary material in the works exhibited is the inherent noise of electronic systems. By emphasizing random fluctuations, the artists explore the potential for electronic technologies to misinterpret and re-imagine the signals they are processing in order to complete the work. The featured artists work within and parallel to the Glitch Art movement, recognizing that algorithms for processing signals function as key materials of digital art. By feeding these algorithms “unconventional data” or by putting them through unconventional routines, noise is reintroduced as a signature of the machine.
Jeff Donaldson’s work takes analog VHS tapes and Flash video compression and twists them into a system where the product is an “interpretation” of noise that mirrors the phenomenon responsible for the noise of our visual sense organs being perceived as visions in dreams. Dan Temkin puts Photoshop’s dithering algorithm into a situation where it is forced to get creative with incompatible color palettes in the production of large scale, low-resolution images. Arcangel Constantini re-wires the electronics of an Atari 2600 game console from the 70s so that the internal memory is expressed in a fragmented machine style stream-of-consciousness: a frenetically changing barrage of fragmented geometries and saturated colors. The images of Phillip Stearns’s DCP Series explore a machine dream-state induced by rewiring the brains of digital cameras. The analog plotter drawings of Jeff Snyder utilize technologies from which contemporary digital art practices originated: analog computing, providing an elegant counter point to the digital works in the show.
The algorithmic unconscious itself may not yet be something that we can clearly define or identify, however, we may be able to view the works in this exhibition and identify between them a revised metaphor for ourselves and our relationship to our technology.