Rewa Wright: An Algorithmic Life

  • ©2015, Rewa Wright, An Algorithmic Life

Artist Statement:


    “The performative is no longer the domain of humans: matter has its own agency, pulse, vitality, rhythm.” Rewa Wright

    Algorithms experience time as microtemporal, a series of quickly expressed mathematical events, occurring one after the other in a precise order. As humans, we cannot begin to comprehend the microtemporal in its real time unfolding, but we can attempt to approach it with that most flawed apparatus, the eye. What we see with the eye is never the whole story, and in this case it only gives liminal access to the performance recorded in the film ‘an algorithmic life,’ where vibrant virtual matter pushes forth to slice the eye with its microtemporal pulse. Generated using custom shaders and displacement mapping to create terrain out of entirely non-manifold geometry, this work simulates and speculates upon algorithmic ‘life’ as an emergent computational strata. Each frame is generated using parameters set loosely by the artist, over an extensive timeline of 20,000 frames, which is then left to render by itself for up to three weeks. The resulting rendered frames are mostly a complete surprise to the artist, who has taken a step back and allowed algorithms to generate their own performative record. Music is composed by Simon Howden using an improvisational technique that traces the contours of the visual recording.