I researched digital-centric art exhibitions that happened within the past year (2017-18) and found unREAL. The Algorithmic Present (6/8/17 to 8/20/17 HeK, 11/11/17 to 1/21/18 CAC). unREAL is an exhibition that was presented at HeK (a Swiss house of electronic arts) and the Chronus Art Center (CAC, in Shanghai).
A variety of works from international artists are featured in which they attempt “to confront the digital present through the very means of technological intervention both as critical examination as well as alternative prospects.”
This exhibition is reflective of today, the digital age/present that many live in. I myself am currently taking an Algorithms course and much of technology, and even people’s daily lives outside of the digital world are made up of algorithms.
One of the works in the exhibition, Columbian artist Fito Segrera’s 1 & N chairs (2017) especially speaks to this in my opinion. N/n is a commonly used variable in algorithms and asymptotic notation to represent an unspecified n input. 1 & N chairs consists of a motorized camera photographing an image of a chair in situ. The image is analyzed by an online cognitive engine, then translated into a textual description for display on one screen. The text also serves as a query to search online for images that match the description and the resulting image is displayed on the paired screen. Every time, the camera sees the chair from a slightly different angle and returns a differentiated interpretation of the object. The result is a dynamic, repetitive process capturing “1 & N” chairs, and I interpret the physical chair as representing the “1” base case and resulting images on display as the unspecified “N” number of chairs. I love the fact that the installation "recurses" on itself in its repetition and this recursive nature leads me to think of this in terms of a physical recurrence relation (another math concept from Algorithms).
Ralf Baecker Mirage (2014)
In this installation, the German artist Ralf Baecker generates a synthesized landscape based on data provided in real time of constant, tiny changes in the earth’s magnetic field. An autonomous learning algorithm registers the magnetic field data and generates variations of the signal just analyzed which is then projected in a landscape on the wall.