New Online Work and Film Retrospective
by Richard Wright
No one is sure how many images there are on the Internet. Google has nearly a billion. Some say it is hundreds of times more than that. People say you can find a picture of anything on the Internet, as though the entire visual world is reflected there.
For How to Talk to Images, Richard Wright has compiled a database of 50,000 random Internet images as the raw content for two artworks. The Internet Speaks and The Mimeticon both explore new conceptions of the image, called for by the sheer quantity of visual information now available via the Internet.
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A limited edition poster and an artist’s monograph have also been published to coincide with this show. For more information, click here.
In this era, finding our way through the world of images is so overwhelming that the dominant mode is to “search” rather than to “see”. An image is an answer to a question, a search query. The Internet Speaks gives us one of the simplest imaginable ways of searching this set of images, stepping through them, one by one, in random order, without context. In contrast, The Mimeticon is a wilfully complex and ‘baroque’ search engine that allows us to search for images by visual similarity rather than by typing in keywords. These ‘search images’ are ‘drawn’ using letters from the history of the alphabet.
As part of How to Talk to Images, Richard Wright’s first solo exhibition in London, a selection of Wright’s animated films demonstrates the development of his current interest in the Baroque. The exhibition is also the occasion of the publication of a limited-edition poster featuring an essay by the artist illustrated by the entire visual history of the Western alphabet – from its pictorial Egyptian origins 5,000 years ago to its perfected form under the Romans, as well as a new book documenting the artists twenty-year long practice.
Richard Wright has been making digital animation and interactive pieces since the eighties. Heliocentrum, an animation about Louis XIV, was described by writer Hari Kunzru as “…an amazingly effective way of showing how a sovereign manipulated power”, and The Bank of Time was nominated for a BAFTA in 2001. Richard was most recently a member of the artist group Mongrel and is currently working on an urban media project called “decorative surveillance”. Since the summer of 2007, he has been Artist in Residence at Furtherfield.org.
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