The Exhibition ‘An Eye Unruled’ investigates emerging forms of representation that challenge traditional authorship and reveal the entangled relationship between computational and human vision. It is presented by Fotomuseum Winterthur and swissnex San Francisco.
As Stan Brakhage envisioned in his 1960 work, ‘Metaphors on Vision’, we can imagine an eye “unruled by man-made laws of perspective, an eye unprejudiced by compositional logic, an eye which does not respond to the name of everything,” but which must invent each object it encounters in physical space through a form of imagination rooted in code.
Moving away from the idea of photography as a way to replicate the retina and as objective proof, this exhibition presents five artistic positions that explore how human and non-human agents merge to create alternative imaginary worlds and new ways of seeing. From neural networks that hallucinate creatures or generate pixel-perfect portraits of non-existing people, to Instagram selfies of self-proclaimed CGI-robots, An Eye Unruled explores the possible universes envisioned by the post-human eye.
Five screen-based works are created as collaborations between Machines and Artist from the US and Switzerland. Gene Kogan, Simone C Niquille, Maria Guta, Dominique Koch and Pinar Yoldas give us an insight into automatic cognitive methods and show us different ways to include processes of machine learning in an artistic practice.
Dr. Pinar Yoldas is an infradisciplinary architect/artist/researcher currently based in San Diego, California. Her work develops within biological sciences and digital technologies through architectural installations, kinetic sculpture, sound, video and drawing with a focus on post-humanism, eco-nihilism, anthropocene and feminist technoscience. Dr. Yoldas is a Guggenheim fellow and an EU Future Emerging Arts recipient.
Gene Kogan is an US-artist and a programmer who is interested in generative systems, computer science, and software for creativity and self-expression. He is a collaborator within numerous open-source software projects, and gives workshops and lectures on topics at the intersection of code and art. Gene initiated ml4a, a free book about machine learning for artists, activists, and citizen scientists, and regularly publishes video lectures, writings, and tutorials to facilitate a greater public understanding of the subject.
Maria Guta was born in Bucharest, Romania, where she studied graphic design and made her practice in fields as visual communication, art direction and fine arts. She moved to Switzerland in 2010 and in 2015 she has completed a Master’s degree in Art Direction and Photography at ECAL (Lausanne). Very soon after the graduation she discovered VR as a new and intriguing medium to explore and worked as the curator of a major VR event in Switzerland. She is currently an independent artist interested in photography, immersive media and new technologies, while always looking for new challenges (like performing, shapeshifting or creating costumes for theatre). Her work was exhibited in Tokyo, Berlin, Milan, Paris, Zürich, Bucharest and her latest project premiered this year in New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival.
Simone C Niquille is a Swiss designer and researcher based in Amsterdam. Her practice Technoflesh investigates the representation of identity and the digitization of biomass in the networked space of appearance. She holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of Design and a MA in Visual Strategies from the Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam. She is a 2016 Fellow of Het Nieuwe Instituut Rotterdam and currently holds the position of Chief Information/Identity Officer at the Design Academy Eindhoven. Simone C Niquille is commissioned contributor to the Dutch Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale and recipient of the Housing the Human Grant 2018/19.
Dominique Koch, born in Lucerne, works and lives in Basel and Paris and studied photography at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig from 2004 to 2011. Her installations are described as “thinking-laboratories”, where content drawn from widely differing areas of research converges on the instant of its mediation, creating unlikely encounters but also, often, revealing urgent concerns that normally pass unnoticed amid the ceaseless flow of information. Latest solo shows include: Holobiont Society at CAN, Centre d’art Neuchâtel (2017), Maybe We Should Rejuvenate the Words rather than the Bodies at Rinomina in Paris (2016) as well as Beyond Chattering and Noise at the Centre culturel Suisse in Paris (2015).
The Swiss Institution, based in Winterthur, is a leading institution for the presentation and discussion of photography and visual culture. From established names to emerging talents, the photographic works they address contemporary issues while forging a link between the history of photography and its future.
This exhibition is part of our year-long LifeCycle series, which brings together artists, researchers, scientists and others to pose crucial questions about the future of creation, life, and death. The LifeCycle series poses challenging questions about where we want tech to take us: not only looking at what is possible today, but also how we can be responsible stewards of our emerging cyber-organic future.
“Machine, Myself & I” Workshop
July 12 — The opening is followed by a workshop with artists, scientists, and technologists to explore the rising role of artificial intelligence in creating our visual culture. More information at Machine, Myself & I. If you would like to take part, please apply by July 5, 2019.
Photo: The first selfie on Mars, created by the Mars Rover robot in 2019. Photo CC-0 by NASA/JPL.