All We’d Ever Need is One Another (trio)
CURATED BY David liss : Adjunct Curator MOCA Toronto
Sep 19 - Nov 2, 2019
Arsenal Contemporary Toronto is proud to present All We’d Ever Need is One Another (trio), an exhibition of new works by Montreal-based artist Adam Basanta.
All We’d Ever Need is One Another (trio) is a mixed-media installation which creates images autonomously through self-generating techniques: a continuously running “art-factory” operating independently of human input.
The installation self-generates images using three flatbed scanners laying on their side, with scanning surfaces pointing towards one another. A computer script creates automatic mouse movements, randomizing the settings of the proprietary scanning software interface, and beginning a scanning process. Each newly created image is then analyzed by a series of deep-learning algorithms trained on a database of contemporary artworks in economic and institutional circulation. When an image matches an existing artwork beyond an 80% match, it uploads it to this website and a Twitter account.
Playing on notions of technological automatization, the agency of objects, cultural consumption, and the economics of artistic production, the installation acts as a golem-like assemblage, continuously and mindlessly self-producing without regard for human spectators.
These images I describe are created by two desktop scanners directed at each other, reading the way light hits the glass on their counterpart, the way light emanates from one to the other. The two scanners are fixed one in front of the other, but movement is built into them and reflected on them. They mirror the light conditions in the room where they are set: when you see an abstract pictogram, you could be looking at the moon. Or at the strip of light in one of the scanners. They make landscapes that meld the site and the tool. – Orit Gat, excerpt from Night Shift, a commissioned exhibition text.
Continuing from the original work All We’d Ever Need Is One Another (2018, now part of the Permanent Collection of the Musee d’art contemporain de Montreal), the Trio version expands the scale and scope of the work, creating a larger variety of randomly-generated images and comparing them to an expanded institutional and commercial database. While the original version relates strongly to the practice of Modernist paintings, Trio extends itself in reference to an equally large body of work in the realm of experimental photography.
Adam Basanta’s (b.1985) work explores technological practices as performances distributed throughout a variety of human, cultural, material and computational agencies. His work has been exhibited worldwide, including at Fotomuseum Winterthur (CH), Arsenal Contemporary Art Montreal (CAN), Galerie Charlot (FRA), National Art Centre Tokyo (JPN), V Moscow Biennale for Young Art (RUS), Carroll/Fletcher Gallery (UK), Edith-Russ-Haus (GER), and The Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe (USA). His installations have been awarded prizes in Canada (Prix Pierre Ayot 2019, Sobey Art Award Longlist 2018) and internationally (Japan Media Arts Prize 2016, Aesthetica Art Prize 2017). His experimental concert music has been presented worldwide, including appearances in the MATA Festival (NYC), Gaudeamus Musicweek (NL), CTM Festival (GER), Akousma Festival (CAN), and Mutek Festival (CAN), and have been awarded multiple national and international prizes. His music has been released on Kohlenstoff Records (Montreal), Farmacia901 (Italy), Important Records/Cassauna (USA), and Kasuga Records (GER).