The Preserving Machine is a research group focusing on emergent computational, three-dimensional imagery through practice- based and theoretical research. This group perceives the 3d image as something that sits uneasily in relation to the ontological framework of previous understandings of photography. Our research explores the aesthetic and epistemological issues related to post- photographic imagery, with transdisciplinary research inquiries. As a group from a diverse range of approaches: curating, research, art practice, we offer multiple perspectives to navigate and critically examine these spatially complex, illusory and uncontainable forms.
Agnes Momirski Anna Nazo Ariel Caine Lucas Gabellini-Fava Peter Ainsworth Richard Kolker Sam Plagerson Sophie Rogers Theo Ellison Tom Milnes Yarli Allison
The work for Format 21 is a multi-media research collaboration initiated through discussion in response to Philip K. Dick’s 1953 short story of the same name. In Dick’s text, set in a society of the near future ravished by ecological disaster and war, a scientist called Doc Labyrinth becomes worried about the decline of humanity. Comparing his societies contemporary circumstance with the ruins of previous civilizations he seeks for a way of safe guarding (what he sees to be) the most important cultural artefacts of human achievement; music. His solution is to create a ‘preserving’ machine which transmogrifies sheet music into organic living matter.
For this exhibition, the artists explore the vagaries of emergent image making apparatus, particularly the precarious relation between the inputting of data through a machine as a functionally transformative act. They consider the physical, aesthetic, ethical and philosophical problems embedded in these new technologies. Systems of control where distortion, translation and possible mutation are replete but in which prejudice, surveillance, understandings of worth and power are tacitly present.