Forms of Communication (2010)

Curated by Andrew Burgher
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In a world that is so complicated to understand I feel as though we as human beings are always trying to find a way to explain everything. Jorge Luis Borges in his "Garden of Forking Paths" takes the quantum mechanics route. This being with every choice made there are an infinite amount of other choices that could have been made. Equally however the choice taken leads to another set of infinite amount of other choices or possibilities available. In this search to find a way to explain everything the fundamental element is communication. The 5 works in this exhibition all have to do with communication in some form. The first one and most interesting in my opinion is Electric Sheep. This project is a downloadable screen saver that once on your computer will communicate with other computers that are currently runny the program at that time. The images produced are influenced by people rating whether or not they like the current design; up arrow for like and down arrow for dislike. Each image is a 3-D fractal that is constantly changing and morphing. There is a lot more going on than just people liking and disliking the images however. People and create their own images, known as sheep and submit them to the “genome”. Sheep that are liked more live longer mutate with other liked sheep. Anyways, what keeps this going is computers and users communicating together. Next is ENIGMATICA, which is a more ambiguous project. This project, like Electric Sheep is visually stimulating and a very interesting new form of sculpture. With a series of rectangles, each one smaller than the one before, situated all in a row, within a room; light up with colors and patterns that move and change along with a soundtrack. I feel that the patterns of light combined with the electronic soundtrack force the viewer to try and find a meaning behind it all. I feel it is trying to tell the viewer something in the colors that are present, the way they move about the created space, and the tempo of the soundtrack. Light from tomorrow is about trying to communicate with the future. Or rather be able to tell the future. The idea behind this is that outdoor light readings from Nuku’alofa, Tonga were broadcast in close to real time to a receiver in the San Jose Museum of Art via light transmissions. This allowed for predictions about tomorrow’s weather to be made by current conditions in a place ahead in time zones or in the future. I feel that this project demonstrates human being’s fascination with being able to tell the future. Communication is clearly presented here with the light transmissions between receivers. The next project titled Pixel Proximity is a life size projection of the artist themselves. The viewer is literally starring at a picture of the artist against a blank wall. However as they walk closer to the image it become more and more pixilated and is accompanied with an ever increasing high-pitched sound. This project deals with the new digital world, which revolves around communication. However this project represents the struggle some face as they try to get a more personal connection to the digital world the more disconnected they feel. The final project on my exhibition is called The Board of Forking paths. Oddly similar to the title “Garden of Forking Paths” by Borges it does in fact derive some influence from that story. This project is about the algorithms that a specific chess playing software chooses while playing against itself. The artist is trying to compare this with the thought process a person experiences when playing a game of chess. In this project the chess software displays the chess moves it would make when playing against itself, essentially communicating with itself.

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