Jake Elwes

Cusp
A familiar childhood location on the Essex marshes is reframed by inserting images randomly generated by a neural network (GAN*) into this tidal landscape. Initially trained on a photographic dataset, the machine proceeds to learn the embedded qualities of different marsh birds, in the process revealing forms that fluctuate between species, with unanticipated variations emerging without reference to human systems of classification. Birds have been actively selected from among the images conceived by the neural network, and then combined into a single animation that migrates from bird to bird, accompanied by a soundscape of artificially generated bird song. The final work records these generated forms as they are projected, using a portable perspex screen, across the mudflats in Landermere Creek.

SUPERFLEX

Vertical Migration
Unsettling our perceptions of scale and otherness, Vertical Migration is an intimate encounter with a life form that bears no resemblance to human beings, though we share a planet, an ecosystem, and a future. Because of sea-level rise, humans will also be migrating vertically in the coming centuries, to higher elevations and raised buildings. The siphonophore’s story is our story. Though we can never experience its journey through the pitch-black ocean depths, we can shift our perspective to recognize that we’re connected, that our actions affect each other, and that we share a common fate.