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Round-Up #2

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

If you’ve been following us on social media, you probably know we feature the best digital art and its creators each week. From Gregory Chatonsky to Cao Fei, 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. Gregory Chatonsky's Counterfeits, Mona Lisa

Counterfeits, Mona Lisa, 2021

In his Counterfeits series, Gregory Chatonsky explores the relationship between text and image, using automatic descriptions of iconic western artworks to generate new images.

One of the works in this series, Mona Lisa (2021), raises questions about the role of description and commentary in our understanding of art. By using machine-generated text to create a new version of the famous painting, Chatonsky challenges us to consider how our interpretations of art are shaped by the words we use to describe it. At the same time, his use of digital tools highlights the role of technology in shaping our cultural memories and shaping our understanding of the past.

2. Kate Cooper, Rigged, 2016

Rigged, 2016, Installation View

“I’m interested in labour practices within this digital imagery—it’s almost like a complete collective practice..the slippage between those labour practices and how that might become quite formalized or not so hidden.”

Kate Cooper's Rigged explores the complex relationships between labour practices, digital imagery, and the body. Through her use of digitally-rendered figures, Cooper highlights the ways in which our desires are shaped and mediated by the images we see in our daily lives. At the same time, she also calls attention to the often-hidden labour practices that underpin the production of these images. Her work raises important questions about who owns these images, who can use them, and how they relate to ideas of class and gender.

Ultimately, Cooper's Rigged challenges us to consider new possibilities for agency and engagement with images and think critically about their role in shaping our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

3. Emile Brout and Maxime Marion's Nakamoto (The Proof), 2014-2018

Nakamoto (The Proof), 2014-2018

“ A lot has been said about NFTs.. its arrival is quite logical..and one always talks about numbers but never about art."

Emile Brout and Maxime Mario's 'Nakamoto (The Proof) is an exploration of the intersection between archival materials, technology, and the creation of new narratives. By using information from the Bitcoin system and other digital archives, the artists construct a series of works that challenge our understanding of the relationship between art and technology.

At the same time, they also raise important questions about the emergence of NFTs and their impact on the art world. While acknowledging the importance of these developments, Brout and Marion remain committed to finding meaning and substance in their work, and to creating works that resonate with a diverse range of audiences. Through their attention to detail and subtle layers of meaning, they invite us to engage with their work on multiple levels and to consider the complex ways technology shapes our understanding of the world around us.

4. Douglas Coupland's I wait and I wait for god to appear, 2011

I wait and I wait for god to appear, 2011, acrylic and latex on canvas, 182.9 x 182.9 cm

Douglas Coupland's work challenges our understanding of what it means to be a contemporary artist. Rather than simply reflecting the cultural moment, Coupland's art is deeply engaged with the forces that shape contemporary life and seeks to explore the ways in which technology, media, and popular culture shape our perceptions of the world.

His use of tactile, object-based artworks creates a sense of connection and intimacy that draws the viewer into his world, while his focus on reinterpreting the events of Generation X from the perspective of the digitally wired brain invites us to rethink our relationship with the past.

Whether working in non-technological formats or using cutting-edge technologies like NFTs and animation, Coupland's work challenges us to consider what it means to be a part of the contemporary moment, and how we can use art to explore the complex forces that shape our lives.

5.'s Online Culture Wars, 2018-2019

Online Culture Wars, 2018-2019, A-0 poster, wallpaper mural

DISNOVATION.ORG is a research collective based in Paris that works at the intersection of contemporary art, research, and hacking. Their mission is to challenge dominant techno-solutionist ideologies and promote post-growth imaginaries and practices. They accomplish this through a range of research activities, including artworks, publications, and curation.

One of their recent projects, Online Culture Wars is a cartography that maps out the online ideological and political frictions that have emerged in recent years, as online cultures have become increasingly polarized and politicized. This cartography is integrated into the visual system of a Political Compass meme, creating a powerful visual representation of the complex forces at play in the online world.

6. Heather Dewey Hagborg's Probably Chelsea, 2017, with Chelsea Manning

Probably Chelsea, Installation view, 2017

Dr. Heather Dewey-Hagborg's art explores the intersection of science, technology, and humanity. Her work involves using biological materials, such as hair or DNA, to create art pieces that serve as a critique of modern scientific practices. Through her art, she poses philosophical and political questions about what it means to be human and the ethics of technology. Her artistic process involves playing the role of a detective, uncovering new discoveries along the way, but there is no grand reveal at the end. Rather, the work is an ongoing process of constant discovery.

7. Pascal Dombis' Post Digital Mirror, 2016-2022

Post-Digital Mirror (X1) , 2013, Exhibition View, Lenticular print on aluminium composites, 2.20 x 1.1 m

Pascal Dombis' work challenges our relationship with technology and the way we perceive images. His use of excess and repetition in creating dynamic visual environments highlights the unpredictability and irrationality of technological processes. Through his work, Dombis aims to confront the seemingly perfect digital process with visual accidents and fuzziness, creating room for chance and creating new ways of looking at things. By questioning the nature of images, Dombis redefines what we consider to be an image, expanding our understanding beyond traditional visual media to include lines and words.

8. Justine Emard's Co(AI)xistence, 2019

Co(AI)xistence, 2019, video installation, 12'

Justine Emard is a visual artist based in Paris who focuses on exploring the connections between human existence and technology. Her work raises questions about how robots and humans can redefine coexistence in the world. Through collaborative projects, she has investigated how much interaction is possible between humans and data through artistic interfaces.

Emard became interested in AI and autonomous systems, and her work explores the concept of embodiment and dialogue with the other. She believes that the body is a rarely covered subject in relation to technology and is fascinated by the idea of autonomy in systems.

9. Félicie d’Estienne d’Orves’, Gong, 2009

Gong, 2009, Video projection on aluminium dome, 2,60 x 0,60 M. Loop : 30 min

Félicie d’Estienne d’Orves (b.1979) is a French multi-disciplinary artist whose work transcends the boundaries of traditional art forms. Through her use of light, sculpture and new technologies, she creates immersive installations that engage the senses and challenge our perceptions of time and space. Her performances are particularly noteworthy, as they offer a unique experience that goes beyond the expected, blurring the line between the spectacular and the sensory. Through her work, Félicie d’Estienne d’Orves invites audiences to connect with the world around them in new and unexpected ways.

10. Cao Fei's RMB City, 2008-2011

RMB City , 2007-2011, Still of 3D model of the city

“ I got interested in Second Life around 2006, which was its peak as an online community. I began to travel around it a lot with my avatar, China Tracey, and I was spending maybe eight hours a day in Second Life. The landscape there is full of representations of real-life cities that people have built, so you can find Time Square or the Eiffel Tower, or bits of Amsterdam. There are universities with mirror campuses and various businesses like IBM. But there were hardly any representations of China.”

Cao Fei's interest in Second Life led her to create her acclaimed work RMB City , a virtual metropolis that serves as a commentary on the rapid urbanization and globalization of China. The project features a mix of futuristic and traditional Chinese architecture, as well as various social and cultural references. Through this work, Fei explores the potential of virtual spaces as a means of expression and communication and questions the relationship between the physical and virtual worlds.

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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