bitforms gallery LA
bitforms gallery LA
April 13 – May 12, 2019
767 S Alameda St
Building 2, Suite 162 + 158
Los Angeles CA 90021
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 11 AM – 7 PM (or by appointment)
bitforms gallery is pleased to announce the continuation of their Los Angeles debut at the ROW DTLA with a unique presentation of artists critically engaged with new technologies. Founded in 2001, the gallery spans the rich history of media art through its current developments, offering an incisive perspective on the fields of digital, internet, time-based, and experimental art forms. The exhibition presents a selection of immersive, time-based media work including artworks by R. Luke DuBois, Daniel Canogar, Carla Gannis, Manfred Mohr, Jonathan Monaghan, Casey Reas, and Siebren Versteeg.
Refik Anadol (b. 1985, Istanbul) is a media artist and director working with data in the fields of site-specific public art. His works explore the space among digital and physical entities through a hybrid relationship of architecture, media arts, and machine intelligence. Machine Hallucinations – Study I (2019) is created from a generative AI algorithm that profiles 100,000 photographic memories of gothic and modern architecture. The work explores space in the mind of a machine through neural networks, unveiling unprecedented coordinates of a latent space. This poetic and cartographic journey is the first example of the artist’s 3-dimensional machine hallucinations.
Daniel Canogar (b. 1964, Madrid, Spain) is a multidisciplinary artist who works in photography, video, sculpture, and installation. Amalgama (2019) is composed of imagery from significant visual artists, both from the present and the past. A transformative algorithm liquefies these images into a mercurial blend that partially abstracts the original images. The swirling effects that have transformed the original artworks evoke the ceaseless flow of information that courses through the Internet, transforming how artworks are consumed, processed and circulated online. Gust Small (2017) is made using Canogar’s signature approach of working with flexible LED tile. The artwork features an abstract, generative animation that changes rotation, speed, and color based on the speed and direction of the wind in the city where it is installed.
R. Luke DuBois (b. 1975, New Jersey) is a composer, artist, and performer who explores the temporal, verbal, and visual structures of cultural ephemera. (Pop) Icon: Britney (2010) considers the shifting meaning of the word “icon.” The original Greek word εικων (eikon, or image) was used to signify an object of veneration, a staple of Eastern Orthodox and Catholic religious art that depicts important figures in highly stylized, symbolic poses and tableaux. Pop Icon: Britney takes all of Spears’ extant videos and singles (through 2010) and subjects them to a computational process that locks her eyes in place, allowing the video frame to pan around her, keeping her in a fixed position akin to an Orthodox icon. In addition, her voice is stripped from her songs (creating an “a capella” mix) and filtered through the reverberation of the San Vitale Basilica in Ravenna, Italy, one of Western Europe’s most important sites of Byzantine iconography.
Carla Gannis (b. 1970, North Carolina) examines the narrativity of 21st century representational technologies and questions the hybrid nature of identity. Origins of the Universe No.2 (2017-18) references both Gustave Courbet’s provocative nineteenth century painting L’Origine du monde and the contemporary fad of 3D printing sculptural holders for smartphones. An iPhone displaying videos depicting origins of the universe is placed between her thighs.
Manfred Mohr (b. 1938, Germany) is a pioneer within the field of software-based art. Co-founder of the “Art et Informatique” seminar in 1968 at Vincennes University in Paris, he discovered Professor Max Bense’s writing on information aesthetics in the early 1960s. These texts radically changed Mohr’s artistic thinking, and within a few years, his art transformed from abstract expressionism to computer-generated algorithmic geometry. In the work P1622-I (2012–2016) from Mohr’s Aritficiata II phase, a diagonal-path from a hypercube, randomly chosen between eleven and fifteen dimensions, is drawn. A diagonal-path is a multiple-segmented line where each change of direction indicates the passage through a single dimension. The spaces between the horizontal lines on either side (left or right) of the diagonal-path are filled with distinct sets of randomly chosen colors. The same procedure also calculates lines and colors in the vertical direction through the x-value of each vertex. The vertical lines are not drawn, but the resulting color sets are retained. This procedure creates four color sets from which three are randomly chosen to construct the resulting image. By overlaying the color sets successively, unpredictable constellations appear.
Jonathan Monaghan (b. 1986, New York) works across print, sculpture, and video installation. Drawing on a wide range of sources, from science fiction to Baroque architecture, he creates bizarre, yet compelling narratives and imagery with the same high-end technology used in Hollywood or by video game designers. Ansonia (wind) (2016) reimagines The Ansonia––one of the first luxury apartment buildings to be constructed in New York. Famous for its opulent Beaux-Arts exterior, Monaghan uses the 19th century facade as a kind of skin. Disco Beast (2016) follows a unicorn, a symbol of the wild and untamable, as it wanders through a series of non-spaces – a corporate coffee shop, an abandoned mall, and a luxury hotel lobby. These banal scenes unfold with strange interjections of spaceships and futuristic contraptions that blend the mystical and elusive with the sterile and consumerist.
Siebren Versteeg (b. 1971, Connecticut) works with algorithmic code to create a collision of choice and chance. His work reveals ongoing perspectives about the world we inhabit and collectively document through participation in digital culture. Truisms (2018) takes initial cues from Jenny Holzer’s text based works of the same name. In Versteeg’s work, linguistic phrases from Holzer are Googled in real-time. The results are continuously incorporated into an endless array of rich compositions that refresh every 3 minutes before disappearing forever.
In conjunction with this presentation from our collection, bitforms gallery presents Extract, an exhibition investigating image and data circulation, in an adjacent space at the ROW DTLA. Works by Petra Cortright, Theo Triantafyllidis, Siebren Versteeg, and Addie Wagenknecht instantiate information overflow through painterly gestures in an effort to translate software into a corporeal experience. Technology as a medium foregrounds this inquiry towards surface abstraction and performative mediation.
Projectors and LED video wall generously provided by Barco.