Kynan Tan, ‘Automated Logistics Simulation’, 2018, computer-generated simulation
DMG will be hosting an artist panel discussion with Emma Fielden and Kynan Tan on Sunday 11 November at 2PM. Please join us for the event, which will be moderated by Sophia Kouyoumdjian and will discuss the themes present in both Emma and Kynan’s concurrent solo shows ‘between stars, between stones’ and ‘Permutations.’
In my artistic practice, I try and make sense of the complexity of computational systems through the becoming-sensory of data and algorithm. I’m concerned with how data and algorithm are understood and utilised in contemporary society, in that they are abstracted and made into something separate from their materials, conditions, and relations. Computation colours everything it touches with an algorithmic logic, a particular kind of ordering and sequencing that also brings forth apprehensions and paranoias.
Permutations explores the way data is continually produced, manipulated, reordered, and made sensory. The works in this exhibition play with the seemingly endless permutations of data to investigate the scale and scope of data as well as its elegance and anxieties. Through 3D-printed sculpture, video, sound, simulation, and generative installation, these works find ways of making sensory the invisible data that subtends our experience of the world. In doing so, the works create new renderings of data that articulate both its darkness and our underlying fears, as well as how the extension and repetition of simple actions finds balance between order and complexity.
I am particularly interested in the limits of data, such as the extent to which we can generate data. Although current logic in governments, corporations, and computer science (such as in machine learning and artificial intelligence) calls for ever more data in order to better predict and model behaviours, I am interested in how we can aesthetically investigate this glut of data, and what this mass of data means as it moves beyond our scales of comprehension. Here I hope to come to an understanding of computation through its affects and aesthetics, questioning what it means and how it feels to live alongside the interrelated complexity of data and the many ways it manifests.
Kynan Tan, 2018
DMG will be hosting an artist panel discussion with Emma Fielden and Kynan Tan on Sunday 11 November at 2PM. Please join us for the event, which will be moderated by Sophia Kouyoumdjian and will discuss the themes present in both Emma and Kynan’s concurrent solo shows ‘between stars, between stones’ and ‘Permutations.’ After the panel discussion, Emma will also be staging a performance piece with one of her installations titled ‘States of Matter’. This work was initially developed in upstate New York during her residency with Art Omi this year.
Between any two given points there is a space, in geometry it is called a line. Theoretically, any line is infinitely divisible – any line can be divided into an infinite number of points. To clarify this, think of dividing a line in half, then divide each of those halves in half again, and so on endlessly. The line segments become infinitely many and their size becomes infinitesimal as they move toward, but never actually reach, zero.
The Greek philosopher Zeno (c. 490 – 430 BC) reflected upon this idea of infinite divisibility in his paradox of The Tortoise and Achilles, in which the great warrior and athlete Achilles can never beat the tortoise in a race. The paradox can be summarised and rephrased as follows. Suppose I wish to travel from point A to point B. First I must cover half the distance between the two points, then I must cover half of the remaining distance, then half of the next remaining distance, and so on endlessly. The consequence is that I can never complete a journey between point A and point B. Similarly, points A and B can never meet.
With these thoughts in mind I ask myself, what actually is the distance between two points? What is the distance between two stars, between two mountains, two stones, two humans? Like two points in space or two points in time, can individuals ever really coexist in a mutual psychological space of true understanding? Can we get inside another person’s head, or are we ultimately separated by an infinitely divisible and uncrossable void?
Conversely, we might see ourselves and everything that surrounds us as simply different manifestations of the same stuff – varied states of matter, unified by our subatomic makeup. But once this matter takes on the complexity of form, and possibly consciousness, how close is this connection really?
Emma Fielden, 2018