Pixflow #2 by LAb[au]

Pixflow #2 by LAb[au]

Pick of the Week #97

This week’s pick is Pixflow #2, a software artwork by LAb[au] and part of the exhibition ‘Noise’ at the 55th Venice Biennale. The exhibition was curated by Alessandro Carrer and Bruno Barsanti with the contribution of Marisa Vescovo and texts by Boris Brollo along with De Arte, non-profit association.

LAb[au] is a trio of artists Manuel Abendroth, Jerome Decock and Els Vermang who founded the collective in Brussels in 1997. Their oeuvre displays themes as colour, light, sound and motion and is characterized by space, concept and process. LAb[au]’s experimental and innovative art practice focuses on fundamental research on contemporality in art. They are exhibiting Pixflow #2 alongside artworks by 10 other artists including Carsten Nicolai, Roberto Pugliese and Pascal Dombis.

The exhibition reflects on noise as a medium of artistic process and communication. “‘Noise’ is based on a 2011 book titled ‘Immersion Into Noise’ by the artist and theorist Joseph Nechvatal,” the exhibition statement explains, “According to him, the new digital technologies convey an excessive amount of informational data that leads to the progressive merging of the traditional concepts of figure and ground. This merging generates new forms of immersive noise and brings along with it new viewing expectations and experiences.”

“What you see is an ensemble of lines. Every time one of these pixels hits one of these lines, the orientation of the line will change and as such this creates flows. It’s a networked piece where the four computers are sharing the network data to make this continuous frieze.” – LAb[au]

Alpha-ville spoke with Els Vermang about the piece.

“PixFlow is a software artwork conceived in 2006, as part of the permanent collection of GCB and exhibited in its restaurant as a 13 meter long frieze.”

Pixflow #1 at GCB’s Restaurant

“PixFlow #2 was conceived as a small-scaled version featuring the process displayed in medium-scaled PixFlow #1. At the one hand we wanted to transpose the screen to space and at the other hand we wanted to render visible both soft- as hardware processes. This lead to a T-shaped transparent sculpture integrating stripped technology while featuring a pixel-perfect image displaying the pixel’s flow originating vector field, as opposed to an interior integration featuring flows.”

Pixflow #2 Facts

Total screen space:  5760 x 900

Total amount of particles: 6000

Total amount of vectors: 20160

“PixFlow’s visual aesthetics are entirely based on calculation errors, when combining both integers as non-integers within programming processes of respectively vectors and pixels, also known as ponderation. In ‘Noise’, the Art of Noises is interpreted on both a sonic as a visual level, and focuses on ‘error’ as a starting-point for artistic creation. Also machine aesthetics are an important parameter within both the futurist manifest ‘L’arte dei Rumori’ and the sculpture ‘PixFlow #2’.”

“The process itself is based on the idea of emergence: complex patterns based on simple rules. These simple rules are the system described in the artwork’s generative software algorithms. The artistic act, as such, is the conception of such a system, which explains why LAb[au] profiles its oeuvre as ‘system arts’, as a continuation of last century’s mainly concept-based art movement working with contemporary tools.”

“We hope visitors to ‘Noise’ will distinguish the show as an exhibition based on artistic choices rather than mercantile ones, contrary to many others within the Biennale’s program. A selection of ten works are exhibited in an old industrial space, with few more attention than a spotlight and hopefully bringing back the Biennale’s proposal to where it belongs: art.”


Visit LAb[Au]‘s page on the work  here.


La Biennale Map 

Collateral event 23 / ‘Noise’
Calle Regina (Calle Corner)
S. Croce 2254
Venice, Italy

May 31 –October 20, 2013

Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday, 10.00 to 18.00.

#biennale #systemsart #software

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