Heaven Must Be Missing An Algorithm
October 18 - November 3, 2019
curated by Kat Ryals
opening reception October 18, 7-10pm
closing reception and artist walkthrough November 3, 5-8pm
on view: October 18 - November 3, 2019 | by appointment | 1263 Bushwick Ave
PARADICE PALASE is pleased to present Heaven Must Be Missing An Algorithm, the final exhibition at their current Bushwick Avenue location, curated by Kat Ryals and featuring works on paper, video installation, sculpture, photography, and collages by Tara Foley, Bahareh Khoshooee, Gracelee Lawrence, Mimi Onuoha, and Christine Lee Tyler.
The intimacy between our bodies and digital technology is both beneficial and damaging. Technology has been created to serve us, to allow us to connect across distances, and to enable us to share both public and private information. We openly engage with the digital through touch, speech, text, biology, and image sharing. Our digital products are designed to correspond with our physical bodies. In return, technology has developed an insidiously close relationship with us too. It mines our identities by listening to us, tracking our physical and digital movements, and archiving our genetics and daily experiences. We allow this symbiotic relationship of receiving and giving, whether consensual or not.
Technology does not truly know us, it knows of us, despite the intimate relationship we’ve been building since its conception. The digital represents controlled, calculated systems unlike the natural world. For example, each spiders’ web is a unique, unpredictable pattern of imperfections and complexities. An algorithmic code, however, is defined, fixed, and repetitive. Our natural bodies, the root of our experience, will never fully or accurately translate into digital space. Likewise, technology cannot capture the depth of our human experience.
At PARADICE PALASE, we often ponder the notion of utopia (in our case, it is a more equitable art world). While utopias refer to perfect conditions, utopias are not, and can never be, universal. Technology purports to create a universal “us”, and identifies this universality as an achievable ideal. Just as each person, group, class, religion, culture, etc. formulates their own idea of utopia, the creators behind technology assert their own visions of and for the world. While the digital realm was conceived as a fresh start to pursue [Western] utopian ideals of neutrality and complete interconnectedness, it continuously fails to be universal. When technology is developed by a hierarchical, unequal, and capitalist society, it embodies the ideals of such a society. Technology cannot serve everyone if it is not set up to do so. It attempts to create a whole from fragments instead.
In Heaven Must Be Missing An Algorithm, the artists in the exhibition explore relationships between identity and technology, the intimate connection of our bodies with the digital, the creation of hierarchy and inequality from data collection and defined boundaries, and fragmentation of reality and experience through digital channels.
In consideration of the perpetuation of hierarchy and social class in society, Christine Lee Tyler creates architectural collages that represent boundaries of inclusion. Her artwork is created through a process of printing and physically collaging computer and digitally generated imagery, aligning digital perfection with the clumsiness of human touch. This arrangement draws upon humanity’s attempts to simulate and emulate the balance of symmetry in the natural world while existing within the parameters of human error.
In Mimi Onuoha’s installation, Us, Aggregated 2.0, she uses Google’s reverse-image search algorithms to hint at questions of power, community, and identity. The work presents a series of photographs of women in a frame cluster, with an image of the artist’s mother at the center. Viewed together, the photographs evoke a sensation of family and community that belies the fact that the remaining subjects are randomly assorted, thrown together by algorithms from Google that have tagged each of the images as “girl” and labeled them all as similar. Thus community is assembled, manufacturing an aggregation of “us”.
Bahareh Khoshooee’s video and fabric installation conflates reality tv with avatar navigated computer games like the Sims. Khoshooee has layered her own likeness onto her Sims avatar, rather than allowing the computer program to generate its own version of her. Both reality tv and games like the Sims reflect our daily lives and experiences while simultaneously being far removed from them. Khoshooee not only uses digital media as her platform but deconstructs its visual language, utilizing its limitations as a way of subverting the nature of virtual culture.
Gracelee Lawrence utilizes digital fabrication and physical labor to explore the ways in which bodies are both gendered and metaphorically fragmented in terms of capitalist-driven material desires, physical sustenance, and the digital spaces we inhabit. For the digitally tethered, life is at the intersection of the virtual and the physical. Experience is continually tempered through a stream of simultaneous meta-interactions, archives, extensions, and reflections of ‘experienced’ reality. The truncated and disembodied limbs, fruits, and food packaging parallel the fragmentation and compartmentalization encouraged in digital space by questioning literal and metaphorical touch, or even the sensation of closeness, between bodies.
And finally, we must ask ourselves: what is the future of our bond with technology? Tara Foley considers how to build better relationships with our digital creations with her current project, The Church of AI, which explores imagined religious iconography made for a new crop of churches dedicated to the coming of Artificial Intelligence. Real churches like these already exist. Embedded in this work is a host of research, questions, and concerns pertaining to the explosion of technology that is coming our way. The pieces called “The Book of Habilis” are from a book, similar to a bible, dedicated to the coming AI that explores ethics and integrates Foley’s personal life experience as a way to connect to the coming AI. The patterns in her paintings contain messages that will engage robots in a more personal human experience.
Heaven Must Be Missing An Algorithm is on view October 18 - November 3, 2019 with an opening reception Friday October 18th and a closing reception with an artist and curator walkthrough on Sunday November 3rd, 5-8pm. Gallery hours are by appointment, 1-6pm. PARADICE PALASE is located at 1263 Bushwick Ave, Ground Floor, Brooklyn NY. For more information or to inquire about the works in the show please contact Kat or Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org