Artie Vierkant

Profile at New Galerie, Paris, 14 April - 4 June 2016

Installation view

Link to press release, by Pierre-Alexandre Mateos & Charles Teyssou

(above and below) Profile, 2016, two channel video installation, 10h 23m

Expression space, neutral (Profile), 2016, dye sublimation print on aluminum, 30x30 in.

Reach (Profile), 2016, dye sublimation print on aluminum, 20x16 in.

Reflection (Profile), 2016, dye sublimation print on aluminum, 20x16 in.

Rendition One (Profile), 2016, dye sublimation print on aluminum, 50x40 in.

Rendition Two (Profile), 2016, dye sublimation print on aluminum, 50x40 in.

Entry (Profile), 2016, dye sublimation print on aluminum, 12x28 in.

Profile is the title of the exhibition as well as the title of the single work presented therein. It is an attempt to extract from a single subject a significant amount of representational information that could be used to construct a functional copy of that person. The transformation of the subject into object. Not merely a 'portrait', this profile is constructed so that this copy could visually and affectively stand in for this person. The Profile, unlike the subject itself, is an ageless manifestation of a physical and vocal form, capable of asexually reproducing itself endlessly, as copy after copy after copy.

Profile itself is not on display in the gallery. Instead the objects on display are manifestations of the overall work. The objects on display derive from the three pieces of information that make up Profile: a full-body 'digital double' manufactured by a professional studio, capable of a full range of motion and facial expression; a recording of hours of spoken dialogue that could one day be used to construct a synthetic voice; and a legal agreement between myself and the subject allowing full right and usage to their copied image.

The work is intended as a meditation on our ownership of our selves, as well as our capability of abstracting our image and our own 'rights' from our selves. While there has been a renewed focus recently on concerns about things like artificial intelligences (an object gaining subjectivity), the fact that we are correspondingly developing tools to render a subject into objectivity is less apparent. We profile ourselves for social media and for other mediating objects equally as we are profiled by user-behavioral databases and equally as we are vulnerable to be racially, ethnically, or ideologically profiled.

In still images, Profile appears in a series of portraits no one stood for. These images are distributed throughout the gallery as a series of dye sublimation prints on aluminum. In the video on display the original subject is shown reading a kind of concrete poem--a large corpus of text designed to provide Profile with a vocal map of the subject's original voice. Based on scripts read by actors for speech to text programs, synthetic voices, or virtual assistants like Apple's Siri, the text is a poem written explicitly to be read by a human to a machine, in order to give that machine a voice. The video is shown as a two- channel installation and runs on a loop of approximately ten hours.

Link to artist statement PDF

Related projects:

Exploits (Detachable storage rack for a metallic structure)
Exploits (Air filter and method of constructing same)
Exploits (Plant expression constructs)
Image Objects