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Round-Up #1

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

If you’ve been following us on social media, you probably know that we feature the best of digital art and its creators each week. From Damien Borowik to Valerie Belin, we uncovered the artistic process and philosophies that drive their work. In Round-Up, we shall take the time to reflect on the best of this season’s series.

1. Damien Borowik’s Particles Series: Summer

Particles-Pattern 8 Summer, 25 seconds looped, Mpeg-4 video, 2560 x 1440 pixels

Borowik’s Particles -Pattern 8 was created for live performances, where various properties of the particles can be manipulated in real-time. Particles is a computer program that generates interwoven coloured particles to create graphic pattern-like kaleidoscopes. Summer aims to express a feeling of plenitude, when one can experience the sublime and feel whole, beyond the sum of one’s parts.

For this exclusive NFT collection, Damien has created 4 series of Pattern 8, each representing a new seasonal iteration where the shapes of each particle, the kinetic dimension, and the variations in colour palettes have been completely reworked from the ground up.

With the end of Summer, other seasons will catch up to us. We can’t wait to see what Borowik has in store for us.

2. Refik Anadol’s AI Data sculptures from Nature Dreams

AI Data Sculpture, Machine Hallucinations — Nature Dreams, NFT, 2021

Anadol’s AI Data Sculptures are immersive, bringing audiences into a world that can only exist because of data. The AI data sculpture 'Nature Dreams', created in collaboration with KÖNIG GALERIE marks the first time a generative public artwork in Berlin is offered in NFT form.

This is not Anadol’s first public art installation, as he developed many significant artworks such as Seoul Haemong, where the DDP building was used as a canvas for an immersive projection of the narrative of Seoul.

Does the NFT format then change anything? How can we understand it better as a medium?

Perhaps it is the nature of decentralisation and being able to, vice versa decentralise nature into another space, the virtue of presenting such sculptures in the NFT format.

3. Olafur Arnarson’s Hall of Forms in the Moment Series

Moment Serie XVIII- 28, Ongoing series

Artist Ólafur Arnarson uses a photojournalistic method to collect moments of places

and objects which he then transforms into digital negatives. These negatives are what he calls “Inversions”.

Arnarson is inspired by Plato´s Hall of Forms. In the Hall of Forms, all that exists in the Material World is in its original and purest form there. Spiritual writers have called this Hall the 5th Dimension, where everything looks like the direct opposite of the Material World.

Arnarson invites the viewers to openly interpret the work, free of constraints, as its name is the exact date and time of its conception.

4. Urs Fischer, CHAOS causing NFTs

CHAOS #501, NFT, 2020-2021

Despite his traditions in painting and sculpture, Fischer’s approach to his work re-employs traditional methods in new contexts.

CHAOS, Fischer’s first NFT collection puzzled audiences as well. Not even his longtime gallery Gagosian welcomed Fischer’s NFT offerings.

However, star artists like Fischer can express themselves and their ideas freely, while interacting with a large community by minting and capitalizing on NFTs.

“ People seem to fear art. Art has always been a word for this thing that can’t be rationalized; when you see or hear something that you struggle to explain.

But that’s its strength, of course, that’s what the word “art” is for.”

5. Memo Akten’s Distributed Consciousness

Distributed Consciousness, NFT, 2021

Memo Akten’s Distributed Consciousness includes AI-generated text hidden in the pixels of the image, readable by code. It is a human-machine co-creation that draws parallels between computer intelligence and the intelligence of cephalopods.

“The project invites us towards a de-centring of human exceptionalism.. to face the reality that we may not be the sole keepers of what we think of as ‘intelligence’, ‘creativity’, or even ‘consciousness’.”

Through his study of fields such as biology to philosophy, anthropology and theology, he develops systems that abstract behaviour, hoping to “create unfamiliar familiarities and encourage new perceptions.”

As an NFT, Akten melds several interests from artificial intelligence, distributed computation, and distributed cognition... within a centre subject, imbued with multiple layers of complexity.

6. Cory Arcangel's Internet Culture, remastered.

Super Mario Clouds, Installation View, 2002

Cory Arcangel believes that video games can garner audiences rapidly and formulate new communities. His primary intention was to create a cultural artefact, a meme that spreads virally on the web.

“All new media is old media.”

Cory Arcangel's Super Mario Clouds involves the deconstruction of video game interfaces. His work acts as a reflection of culture as a whole and a demonstration of how individuals express themselves through technology.

“ Work dealing with technology didn’t start with the digital; it was just a flip-over from analogue. There’s a long history of work trying to push the boundaries of what’s happening.”

By also making his work and methods online, he remains faithful to the original open source culture of the Internet, and at the same time poses a question about the value of the art object.

7. Ed Atkins’ Subversive Narratives

Still from Us Dead Talk Love 2012, Two-channel 4:3 in 16:9 HD video with 5.1 surround, 34'

“The desire to talk about love, sex and death – ridiculously big things like that – is a desire to get to a limit, find what’s possible within the representation.”

Ed Atkins writes narratives that help him expand on existing motifs and images, and to address irresolvable feelings towards certain themes. His resulting works push the limits of technology in new media.

3D models bought from an online store also allow Atkins to wear them like masks. These figures in his videos each become a version of himself in a haunting narrative that echoes much of our modern fears.

“I’m just trying to work out who the character is that I often end up speaking through in the’s probably a response to the way we actually feel about things – your public presentation through social media.”

8. Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil's Definition Escaping photographs

Les collectionneurs #24.2, 2011, Color lambda print 40 x 29 x cm Copy N° 1/3 (including 2 inseparable series including all the portraits) + I E.A © Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil - ADAGP & Courtesy Galerie In Situ - fabienne leclerc, Grand Paris

Dormeuil’s Les collectionneurs (Collectors) breaks up existing notions of representation and the role of the spectator in the art world.

Who is looking at who? One spectator looking at the other?

The “absence presence”: The collector posing beside his art is now a mere presence, despite their performative participation in Dormeuil’s art. The flatness of the images offers a new perspective of what an image can do from both sides: the side of art display, and the side of art appreciation. This brings forth the post-modernist attitude towards art, and the system it thrives on.

9. Adam Basanta’s investigation into technology rooted in the human touch

Data Paintings, Reina Sofia Faces (after Gary Hill), 2022

Adam Basanta explores what it means to use cultural datasets and stretches the possibilities of making new art with existing works.

Each image in Adam Basanta’s Database Paintings is made by combining pixels from publicly accessible photos of artworks that are drawn from the permanent collections of The Tate, Guggenheim, and Reina Sofia Museums.

Groups of pixels are "mosaicked" and collaged from the original artworks onto a fresh virtual canvas using custom software and machine learning techniques, producing visuals that articulate a gap between recognizability and emergence.

By displacing simultaneously precious and meaningless image data out of the institutions, Basanta re-examines the act of institutional preservation.

10. Valérie Belin’s reconsiderations on the notions of identity

Daylily Blue Celeste, Black-Eyed Susan II, Pigment print

64.2 x 51.2 inches (163 x 130 cm), 2013

Valérie Belin is renowned for her imposing pictures that explore artifice, identity, and representation. Her images challenge the viewer's worldview and blur the distinction between illusion and reality.

Belin’s subject matter often falls in between being luminous illusions and tangible objects, expressiveness and withdrawal, and reality and potentiality- challenging viewers to question their perspectives on the world.

“ To correctly categorize groups of people, we have attempted to imagine identity as something fixed or given. The proliferation of photographs has allowed for a reconciliation of one's perception of identity through masquerade.”

With the monumentality of the large format and the high contrast of Belin's images, each portrait attempts to serialise and frame the body’s position, which de-individualizes and reiterates the figures as forms.

This rounds up the best of this season’s Artist Spotlight. To keep up with our weekly updates, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, or stay tuned for our Round Up on the rest of our social media channels.


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