Refik Anadol’s most recent synesthetic reality experiments deeply engage with these centuries-old questions and attempt at revealing new connections between visual narrative, archival instinct and collective consciousness. The project focuses on latent cinematic experiences derived from representations of urban memories as they are re-imagined by machine intelligence. For Artechouse’s New York location, Anadol presents a data universe of New York City in 1025 latent dimensions that he creates by deploying machine learning algorithms on over 100 million photographic memories of New York City found publicly in social networks. Machine Hallucination thus generates a novel form of synesthetic storytelling through its multilayered manipulation of a vast visual archive beyond the conventional limits of the camera and the existing cinematographic techniques. The resulting artwork is a 30-minute experimental cinema, presented in 16K resolution, that visualizes the story of New York through the city’s collective memories that constitute its deeply-hidden consciousness.
Taking in her paintings is like opening your eyes after a nap in the sand. The colourful masses on her canvas appear to be in motion, plunging the spectator into a semi-conscious state. Beyond the merely pictorial, Ana Montiel’s works read like spiritual, dreamlike invitations, that hit you with a feeling of satisfaction and involuntary entrancement. Any tangible form looks acid-washed; a silhouette or a ray of sun gives way to a sfumato of light and pigments. The artist is interested in the conceptual issues of perception and phenomenology, based on the premise that reality is nothing but a collective and controlled hallucination.
John Russell and Joey Holder
A dialogue between these two artists on themes of myth, ritual and meaning, as much about their exhaustion and propensity to bewilderment as any potential they may inhere, for recuperation for and by language, culture and society.Joey’s work, ‘Religiously observant’, is inspired by alchemical and occult ideas, the world of spirits and hallucinations. The wall print features a gold CGI blazon of the Tetragrammaton It references the Sumerian mythology of the Annunaki a race of ancient chthonic fertility Gods, subsequently inscribed in a series of publications by Zecharia Sitchin (a kind of elder statesman of conspiracy theorists worldwide) as descendants of aliens, who enslaved the human race to extract gold from the earth.John’s work similarly ranges over territories of opposition: between ancient and contemporary; mythic and kitsch; between the viscid and primordial. It takes as its subject the vector of congealment, in the Marxist sense of the way labour power is congealed in commodities and so forth, extending this metaphor into an aesthetics of myth and ritual, emptied out, flattened, compacted like a sedimentary layer of anthropocene garbage, for the post-historical epoch.The sound component provides an aural complement to this structure of refuse, exhaustion and abjection. Mixing pre- or -post-linguistic utterances, grunts, groans, screaming: a kind of secular glossolalia chaotically interwoven with whalesong, deep techno and political oratory.