Simon Ingram’s Radio Painting Station: Looking for the Waterhole features in Open Codes: Living in Digital Worlds, curated by Peter Weibel at ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany. The work collects and materialises invisible cosmic energy as a series of painted compositions. It is an enlarged adaptation of Radio Painting Station installed at JAR in Auckland (2015) curated by Wystan Curnow, and an earlier work commissioned for Dark Sky (2012) curated by Tina Barton. The work at ZKM features a 4.5-metre long horn-type radio antenna projecting out of the building, which concentrates, filters, amplifies and digitizes cosmic energy for a mechatronic system to codify as a series of 1.6m square painted compositions inside the building.
Ingram notes: ‘I wanted to reposition the theme of expressing higher powers or unseen forces by using technical methods to paint invisible cosmic radio energy. Part of this was to rephrase the production of abstract images as a contemporary one by developing Vilém Flusser’s notion of the ‘technical image’. This is the non-narrative composition arising in response to increased abstraction, big data and technical change in human culture. In Flusser’s telling, technical images are made from devices that can see what we can’t see, experience what we can’t experience, able to bring together invisible quanta, such as photons and electrons and bits/bytes of information as images.’
The artist acknowledges the support of Kamahi Electronics, the Chartwell Trust, and Elam at The University of Auckland. The exhibition will run until 5 August 2018. For further information, see here.