Transform: A State of New Media



JANUARY 25 – MARCH 29, 2014

Curated by bitforms gallery, ny, Transform features the work of eight artists and reflects on a wide range of contemporary art practices engaging new media. From drawing machines, video and screen-based work, to kinetic and responsive sculpture, the exhibition gathers emerging and mid-career artists who are working in a rapidly changing field that is driven by computation and conceptualism. As new media is a genre that will always strive to be redefined, the exhibit takes its cue from art practices that remain rooted in a perpetual state of invention.

Tristan Perich is a New York artist and composer who is best known for his constructions exploring the physicality of sound and the polyphonic potential of 1-bit audio. He is the creator of “Microtonal Wall”, a large-scale installation comprised of 1,500 speakers, recently on view at the Museum of Modern Art in Soundings. In mechanical drawing systems that he also builds, Perich investigates recursive line and patterned surface formation. Through March 30, 2014, Perich’s live drawings and works on paper are on view at the Cranbrook Museum of Art in My Brain Is in My Inkstand: Drawing as Thinking and Process.

Based in London, Quayola is an Italian artist working with audio-visual performance, drawing, photography and software. Quayola’s video installations, such as “Strata”, dwell on the objective details of his subjects: light, form, shape and color. Glorious representations are built, as he temporally treats familiar symbols of the baroque and renaissance periods. Crafting a peculiar distance from his subjects, Quayola’s process wanders through the surface of an object, pushing beyond its picture plane–and representing something crafted by the accumulation of signifiers over time. Most recently, Quayola debuted a series of sculptures based on Michelangelo’s “Prigioni” at MU art space in The Netherlands.

Daniel Rozin creates interactive installations and sculptures that have the unique ability to change and respond to the presence of a viewer. His best known works respond in real time and recreate a live visual representation of the viewer’s likeness, staging the audience as an active and creative part of his art projects. Merging the geometric with the participatory, Rozin’s installations have long been celebrated for their kinetic and interactive properties. Grounded in gestures of the body, the mirror is a central theme of Rozin’s practice. In his art, surface transformation becomes a means to explore animated behavior, representation, and illusion. His constructions, since the late 1990s, have also investigated the psychological and optical cues inherent to image building, such as pattern and the materiality of the picture plane. In Fall 2014, Rozin will open a new installation commissioned for the Taiwan Taoyuan international airport.

Björn Schülke is a sculptor from Germany who playfully transforms live spatial energy into active responses. Slow deliberate movements in his sculptures consider mass and weight of form, while their striking physical presence is anchored in the formal vocabulary of modern abstraction. His constructions delight, disrupt, and disorient the viewers’ expectation– staging an unpredictable behavioral exchange between the audience and the machine. Evoking the tools of modern observation and precision, his work suggests artificial intelligence as well as absurdity. “Space Observer”, a large-scale interactive sculpture by Schülke, is on permanent display at the San Jose International Airport, Terminal B.

Clement Valla is an emerging artist who creates work that reveals the usually hidden processes, mechanisms and biases embedded in everyday algorithmic systems. Working conceptually and collaboratively in projects such as “The Mechanical Turk Alphabets” and “Paintings from Wushipu”, his work explores global and dimensional exchange. On view at Wasserman Projects, his “Postcards from Google Earth” are based on images he captured from the screen while traveling through the Google Earth interface. This collection of pictures emphasizes edge conditions, the result of an automated process that fuses aerial photographs and cartographic data. In New York, his work has most recently exhibited in the group exhibitions Post-Pictures and Vanishing Point at bitforms gallery, and in the Paddles On! auction at Phillips, organized by Lindsay Howard.

Siebren Versteeg is an American artist whose conceptual practice critically engages the relationship between text and image. Using algorithmic systems to access the information of pictures and current events, Versteeg’s best known work culls live data from the Internet. Inspired by Vilem Flusser’s “Into the Universe of Technical Images”, his recent projects also explore gestures of the hand and painted abstraction. Through March 9, 2014, his work is on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, in The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archaeology.

Using simple and functional components, the Swiss artist Zimoun builds architecturally-minded platforms of sound. Exploring mechanical rhythm and flow in prepared systems, his installations incorporate commonplace industrial objects. In an obsessive display of simple and functional materials, these works articulate a tension between the orderly patterns of Modernism and the chaotic forces of life. The acoustic hum of natural phenomena in Zimoun’s minimalist constructions carries an unexpected emotional depth. Recently, Zimoun completed a commission for a large-scale sound installation that transformed a 1951 toluene tank, in Dottikon, Switzerland.

Crossing multiple disciplines with her practice, Marina Zurkow builds animations and participatory environments that are centered on humans and their relationship to animals, plants and the weather. Engaging audiences using film and video, sculpture, print graphics and public interventions, Zurkow’s work is by turns humorous and contemplative. Through the experience of her projects it is clear that nature has long been a stage upon which we project ourselves, making ourselves other. Zurkow’s recent series “Necrocracy” reconstructs the role of hydrocarbons in contemporary landscape and questions the inherited Romantic-era division between the natural and the human. Jan 16-26, 2014, the Sundance Film Festival will feature Zurkow’s latest generative animations, “Mesocosm (Wink, TX)” and “Mesocosm (Northumberland, UK)”, in New Frontier, Park City, Utah.

bitforms gallery was founded in 2001 and is engaged in a contemporary focus that specializes in the visual discourse of new media culture.