Metamor-
phosis

Virtual Tour of the METAMORPHOSIS exhibition in Montreal

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Launch Visit

About

What kind of individual or societal transformations will follow the global pandemic of 2020?

METAMORPHOSIS refers to the classic Book of Changes (I Ching) and proposes that today, one of the fundamental effects of constant change is to broaden our understanding of the relationship between humanity, nature, and technology.

According to the Book of Changes, human society is in constant transformation, and everything is subject to change; yet at the same time there is a core that never changes. By understanding this core profoundly, it is therefore possible to foresee the future.

METAMORPHOSIS 2020 searches for meaningful core patterns by revisiting this triangular relationship to encourage diverse discussions about humanity in an age of uncertainty.

Co-curated by DooEun Choi, Art Director of Hyundai Motor Company and Alain Thibault, Artistic Director of ELEKTRA

Artworks presented

Shinseungback Kimyonghun

Cloud Face
(Real Time, 2015)

Commissioned by ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany.

Humans see figures in clouds: animals, faces and even god. This kind of perception also appears in machine vision. Face-detection algorithms sometimes find faces where there are not any.

Cloud Face is a collection of cloud images that are recognized as human faces by a face detection algorithm. It is a result of machine’s vision error and they often look like faces to human eyes too. Humans, yet, know these are not actual faces. Humans rather imagine faces from the clouds. Here, the machine’s error and human imagination meet.

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Herman Kolgen

LifeFORM (2020)

Commissioned by Paradise City

Constraints and transformations go hand in hand in this world where human beings, caught between the infinitely large and the infinitely small, remain connected to everything. The ongoing global pandemic bitterly forces the entire human society to evoke this ignored axiom, which becomes the inspirational igniter of this work. Based on this observation and the chain reactions imposed on us by this context, it explores the “humble position” we occupy between the visible and the invisible, defined by our interdependence on all forms of life. Our species has no choice to metamorphose and innovate.

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Xavier Snelgrove & Mattie Tesfaldet

Latent Space Interpolation (2019)

For their scientific article, Fourier-CPPNs for Image Synthesis, the two artists invented a new algorithm to generate images based on recent artificial intelligence techniques. This algorithm moves between its idea of each of the artists' portraits via the uncharted territory in between. Of the infinite ways to transition between these images, the route taken hints at the algorithm's normally invisible internal structures and biases, providing new intuitions on its capacities, and new aesthetic directions to explore.

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Refik Anadol

Space Dreams / Urban Dreams / Nature Dreams (2020)

Space Dreams transforms a vast data set of 1.2 million images captured from the International Space Stations (ISS), along with additional satellite images of Earth's topology, into a dynamic data painting.

Urban Dreams offers new insights into the representational possibilities emerging from the intersection of advanced technology, urban memory, and contemporary art.

Nature Dreams is a series of synesthetic reality experiments based on algorithms, utilizing over 69 million images of National Parks, Iceland, and other natural wonders.

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Justine Emard

Soul Shift (2018)

Soul Shift (2018) by Justine Emard is a film depicting an interaction between two humanoid robots powered by artificial intelligence. Programmed by Ishiguro’s Lab at Osaka University and Takashi Ikegami at the University of Tokyo, robot Alter 1 invents gestures and attempts to engage in interaction with the other robot, Alter 2. Alter 1 appears intrigued by the inertia of its lookalike, to the point of approaching it in a movement of recognition and affection.

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EXONEMO

Kiss, or Dual Monitors (2017)

In Kiss, or Dual Monitors two LCD monitors are hung from a ceiling, displaying faces of various people on the screen, and placed as people on the screen kiss. The work questions the relationship between emotional feeling and information devices.

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Michel de Broin

Castles Made of Sand (2015)

Castles Made of Sand is a site-specific installation conceived to be temporarily installed in a small office space located near the top of a skyscraper in downtown Toronto. The installation functions as a production line that casts sand castles, dispatches them for a journey along a conveyor belt, and eventually sends them forward to crumble. The sand is then collected and recycled to create a new castle. This cyclical construction and destruction of the castle is set to the relative position of the moon in the sky as it influences the tides.

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LOUIS-PHILIPPE RONDEAU

LIMINAL (2018)

LIMINAL is an interactive installation that embodies the inexorable passage of time. It seeks to reify the limit between present and past. An arch of light appears in the darkness: it is a temporal portal. When we cross this threshold, our reflection projected on the adjacent wall seems deployed in time thanks to the slit-scan technique. In this visual metaphor – the past constantly taking over the present – we see our image fading inexorably into the oblivion of white light.

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Samuel St-Aubin

Prosperity II (2020)

Prosperity is a stand-alone device that manages grains of rice. A tweezer moves from one surface to the other, gripping on its way the grains which have been placed randomly, and then depositing them in an orderly manner on another surfaces. This process leaves the grains aligned while preserving their initial orientation. The device, being limited by its own perceptions highlights the exchanges between the machine and the matter. The grain of rice, symbol of fertility and prosperity, is carefully digitized and memorized to be moved.

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Ryoichi Kurokawa

Unfold (2016)

Inspired by the latest discoveries in the field of astrophysics, unfold, the immersive and sensory installation of Japanese artist Ryoichi Kurokawa, seeks to translate into sounds, images and vibrations, the phenomena surrounding the formation and evolution of stars.

With unfold, Ryoichi Kurokawa is concerned with the synaesthetic, merging audible and visual materials, in the service of an art/science project inspired by recent discoveries.

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Lu Yang

Playing on my mind (2020)

Lu Yang’s video for The 1975 is performed in the virtual world by his nonbinary digital alter-ego Doku, constructed using the latest in 3D scanning, motion capture and digital modelling technology. He shows us how our shared virtual world, the world of digital creation and imagination, in which you’re watching his film, is not so different from the planet without time and space of his imagination: a creative place where we can play with our identities and explore ourselves, our many parallel selves, and prepare those selves for new dimensions and universes.

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Adad Hannah

Social Distancing Portraits (2020)

Started on March 14, 2020, while the coronavirus pandemic continued to grip the world, it is compilation of short, unedited video portraits of the people he encountered on the street, the portraits include a diverse range of individuals, families, friends, shopkeepers, students, protestors, healthcare workers, all using a long lens from a distance of at least 5 metres. While mostly shot on the streets and largely containing images of strangers, these works are very much portraits—intimate, unwavering, and direct.

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Daniel Iregui

ANTIBODIES (2020)

ANTIBODIES was initially created during the pandemic-induced lockdown as an interactive web experience, as all social gatherings were transformed into video-conference calls. It mimics this phenomenon and creates a never-ending virtual get-together everyone around the world can join at any time, inviting people to make facial expressions while a software tracks these gestures and responds with overlaid patterns and sounds. As lockdown measures progressively eased, ANTIBODIES accompanied that change and developed into a physical installation for public spaces.

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