Casey Reas: ULTRACONCENTRATED
ULTRACONCENTRATED is his first New York solo exhibition in over five years, marking a departure from past works based on emergent systems. Since 2008, Reas has collaborated on a number of architecturally-scaled commissions. These projects have ranged widely, including: stage set designfor the band Yeasayer in 2012 with Aranda\Lasch; a permanent video projection for the nighttime façade of Frank Gehry's New World Symphony building in Miami Beach, created with Tal Rosner; amural with Ben Fry on the campus of MIT; and "Clad", a set of sculptures exhibited at the 12th Venice Architecture biennial with the davidclovers studio. Presently on view at the LA MoCA, "Textile Room" is video sculpture featuring projections by Reas, in collaboration with the studio P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S.
Reas' latest work inhabits the increasingly voluminous, yet invisible, spaces of information systems and mass communication. Using a variety of materials, his new projects explore the behavior of television signals and entropy. Live video-driven software systems are featured inULTRACONCENTRATED, as well as c prints, laser-etched anodized aluminum pieces, and an illuminated sculpture created with Aranda\Lasch.
The series Signal to Noise intentionally disrupts the information of local broadcast signals. It investigates the field of technical images, as theorized by philosopher Villem Flusser, such as visual information transmitted as data, which relies on text-based instructions to "write" a picture. In the creation of this work, television content was captured from the air with an antenna. Reas edited, and then processed the appropriated material with his own custom software, which runs live in the gallery. The programmed logic is visible as a geometric lattice, building the illusion of a surface.
In these works, software's capacity for precision and order is subverted. Each generative animation in the series scrambles a 20-minute segment of television captured from a major US network, such as ABC, NBC, Fox or CBS. They fracture and distort the intended images and narrative, to craft alternate, imagined spaces. Their construction is comparable to early twentieth-century collages built from the media of that time, and mid-century video collage. Taking a Dada approach to the raw materials, each piece is silent and named after a specific moment from the broadcast script.