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"Code Residue" at vertexList

vertexList – 138 Bayard St Brooklyn NY 11222 * Tel/Fax: 646 258 3792 * email:info@vertexlist.net


For Immediate Press Release:

VertexList space has the pleasure to present:


in a group exhibition "CODE RESIDUE", curated by Marcin Ramocki.

The exhibition will open Saturday, June 11 from 7-10 pm and continue until July 03, 2005. Live Game Boy music performance by Bit Shifter, 9 pm (free admission).


The last 30 years have been the most active period of deliberate code generation and propagation in our history. A child of western modernism, code has surfaced as a collective epiphany in all disciplines. The computer revolution, scientific consequences of the DNA discovery and mapping of human genome, binarisation of the social and political structures of Western society (so very well described in Baudrillard’s "Metaphysics of Code") and finally the Greenbergian compulsion to disclose the limits of various artistic media stem from the same fundamental source: focusing the mind on how content is conveyed and structured. Content itself has faded to the background as mere "information", the way an adjective still describes a noun without holding much importance.

In Le postmoderne explique aux enfants Lyotard wrote: "The postmodern artist works without rules in order to establish rules of what will be created."
This establishment of rules described by Lyotard translates into disclosure of its own "code of making" as a subject matter of the piece, defining a medium/genre/style through as little as a singular visual statement. Needless to say, the precarious contemporary cultural landscape has generated endless, nomadic, imperfect and often-simplistic codes, which have impaired heavily our ability to decode anything at all.

Codes, by definition, are meant to re-enter flesh. In most cases, codes are the matrices of mass re-production, molds of simulacra. They hold the information about how the objects of our capitalist reality are assembled. The artistic codes coexist with their material manifestation and are supposed to make us aware/critique other; "mean" codes which enslave us as consumers. Perhaps in some cases they do, but mostly they just add to our general dis-information and alienation by being flat and cryptic.

Paradoxically, the only access to understanding (and therefore controlling) code is the code itself - in its fragile, vulnerable moment of textual presence, revealing its algorithmic logic, flow and the hand of a programmer. The moment where four numbers representing coordinates and a hexadecimal symbol holding the color info become a pixel. The moment where properties of an object "war" are reset to a new variable. Another moment where a very specific combination of pairs of four letters representing amino acids add up to a new being.

So as artists, we are driven to make sculptures of computer icons, write poems in object oriented programming language, show pixels of an image and numbers behind vector curves, paint the word "modernist" the way it would look in 14 points Helvetica on Windows 98.

"Code Residue" brings together works which demystify codes by forcing them into the physical, optical and palpable realm.

Marcin Ramocki

Vertexlist is located at 138 Bayard St. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Gallery hours: Fri, Sat, Sun 2-6 pm or by appointment.
For directions and information contact vertexList at 646 258 3792
email: info@vertexlist.net, or check our website www.vertexlist.net
special thanks to our sponsors:
Steven Miyao (www.kasina.com)
and Laurence Shultz