10 Digits

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Remember when 'digits' meant 'fingers'? Of course you don't! Few of us lived in the 'pre-digital era,' but that doesn't mean artists aren't exploring the double entendre of the high tech handmade. Take Cody Trepte for example. The New York-based artist has produced a number of works that not only explore overlaps between binary and tactile representational systems, they also cause us to think about that romantic ideal overly celebrated in the art world and all but forgotten in computing culture: the hand of the artist. Included in his Binary Cross Stitch series is a work entitled 'Alan Turing once knit himself a pair of gloves,' a subtle reminder of the man behind the machine--a man whose private life Trepte has plunged in previous exhibitions, ironically adding humanity to our recollection of a character famous for helping us distinguish between humans and robots. The artist has described his work as a process of unravelling the 'translation of data from a physical or analog state to an electronic state.' Seemingly in answer to the question of why technology has become so depersonalized, Trepte's quilted works, or Hand-Quilted Binaries, suggest the security of losing oneself in the comfort of veiled codes. Likewise, in a cross-stitch work entitled 'This is how I cope with my neuroses,' the artist translates natural language into happy couples of zeros and ones, or black and white. Cody Trepte's work can currently be seen in the exhibition '12,5,' at Kunstverein INGAN, Berlin. - Marisa Olson