bitforms gallery is pleased to announce Counterparts, UVA’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. The London-based studio will present paintings, reliefs, and sculptures that explore the relationship between technology and culture.
New Dawn invites the viewer to consider how technology mediates our experience of reality. The light-based sculpture is comprised of two windows displaying dynamic patterns of light and shadow that suggest leaves falling or blowing in the wind. Like prisoners in Plato’s Cave, viewers know only these shadows until circling the windows to reveal their inner workings: each slat features a row of concealed LEDs that project light onto its subjacent slat.
A Distant View is a series of reliefs inspired by the images of the Moon’s surface provided by the Lunar Orbiter missions of 1966-67. These photographs were transmitted to Earth as processed data after onboard scanning of the original films, then reconstructed at NASA to create detailed images of the Moon’s topology. A Distant View reimagines this process of capturing and reconstructing reality by taking some of these images back to their three-dimensional origin. However, on closer inspection the reliefs also expose what is lost, through the gaps that populate the composition, where the data is incomplete. Illuminated from the upper ridge, the viewer is invited to consider the empty spaces articulated by shadows.
In the Flux Paintings series, the viewer experiences a ghost-like presence as the canvases appear to paint themselves. Each painting features an underlying grid of resistors which emits generative patterns of heat based on Simplex noise. These heat patterns are translated into textured forms by the custom thermochromic coat on each canvas. Confronted with abstraction, the viewer is invited to consider their own apophenic vocabulary and to question the authenticity of their experience.
The Etymologies is a series of geometric canvases illuminated by transitioning text. Each work in the series draws from different source texts, including works by Roland Barthes, Marcel Proust, Daniel Dennett, and others. As texts transition and recalculate, new prose appears, fleeting. The Etymologies engage a process of collaborative scripting depending on both the algorithms driving the work as well as the reader’s comprehension. Collectively, the series addresses consciousness, authorship, and memory. The unique shape of each canvas highlights how the particular experience is shaped by the environment in which it is viewed.
The Continuum series is a study of light and movement inspired by wave-particle duality, a scientific theory that explains the phenomena of light as being both particle and wave. Within this hexagonal canvas, a grid of LEDs is orchestrated to create shifting patterns of light and shadow — a succession of wave interferences.
Through explorations of inference, perception, and authorship, Counterparts investigates the tension between the complexity of reality and our attempt to simplify it.