New Art Exhibit Explores Human and Machine Interconnections
GEN/GEN: Generative Generations is a group exhibition spanning six decades featuring works from: Loren Bednar, Darien Brito, Sougwen Chung, Harold Cohen, Brendan Dawes, Ernest Edmonds, Licia He, Tyler Hobbs, Ben Kovach, William Latham, Rhea Myers, Piter Pasma, Monica Rizzolli, Melissa Wiederrecht, and Stephen Willats.
Gazelli Art House, in collaboration with tech partner Verisart, is introducing its first co-curated exhibition, GEN/GEN: Generative Generations, taking over all three floors of Gazelli Art House’s central Mayfair gallery. This exhibition continues the gallery’s longstanding interest in and promotion of digital art, intertwining with the historical angle of the gallery’s program.
Following Gazelli Art House’s The AARON Retrospective, and ahead of a major 2024 museum survey, the gallery has deepened investigations into computer art pioneer Harold Cohen’s practice by aligning his work with three of his peers—Ernest Edmonds, William Latham, and Stephen Willats—while re-contextualizing these works through an array of contemporary generative artists.
GEN/GEN: Generative Generations will feature Cohen’s seminal works from the mid-80s alongside the In AARON’s Garden series (2007), both created via AARON (a computer program the artist designed to create art independently). Works from fractal geometrist Edmonds will include U-matic tape recordings of artificial intelligence (AI)-programmed film and computer generated, hand-modified images. Among other works, computer scientist Latham shows an early piece from his critical FormSynth series—inspired by Tantric art and the Natural History Museum—whose exploration of the evolution of artistic systems became the blueprint for later software systems, Mutator and Form Grow. From conceptual forerunner Willats, works from the Change Exercise and Unit Drawings series demonstrate the artist’s avant-garde approach to perception: active diagrams that relay the complexities of our behavior and environment.
Works by previous GAZELL.iO residents Sougwen Chung and Rhea Myers and represented artist Brendan Dawes display interactive contributions that bridge the divide between artwork and observer. Recently acquired by the V&A, Chung presents a brand new, generative work which, like Cohen, blurs the lines between human creativity and machine intelligence.
Meanwhile Cohen’s fascination with code finds parallel in Dawes’ data-enriched presentation of his interactive sculpture You, Me and the Machine (2022). This will be shown alongside the debut of a brand new iteration of Dawes’ Cinema Redux series (2004-ongoing), one of which now hangs in MoMA’s permanent collection, based on Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927). Myers presents a rare opportunity to view work not seen since her graduate show, established pieces that offer up code as narrative, holding audience members captive in a story telling reverie. Works such as Surgical Strike (1996) combine inspirations ranging from Latham’s appearance in the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World (1980) to books such as War In The Age of Intelligent Machines (1991) which, according to Myers, provided a “good target for infecting the clean space of the platonic geometry of computer graphics with the messy reality of computing”.
Broadening the boundaries of contemporary explorations into generative art, Monica Rizzolli, Darien Brito, and Loren Bednar will present never-before-seen artworks. Rizzolli offers her most exclusive work to date, a momentous opportunity for collectors to experience infinite generations of one artwork. Amalgamating the physical and the digital, Ben Kovach and Melissa Wiederrecht will present works that straddle both realms, symbiotic of Cohen’s use of AARON for producing physical artworks. Engaging a similar methodology Piter Pasma, Licia He, and Tyler Hobbs will present artworks on paper created via plotter, probing ideas of authorship that arise when human and machine collaborate. Illustrating the democratization of generative art technology, this show for the first time will enable some of the exhibited artists to showcase their debut long form generative works on the GAZELL.iO marketplace.
In featuring artists who have embraced generative art throughout various periods, GEN/GEN: Generative Generations focuses on our intergenerational fascination with human and machine interconnections, and how this dialogue can transcend time. Click here to learn more about the exhibit.