My Touch, Your Command, Your Touch, My Command

January 27, 2017 – February 25, 2017

Friday January 27,  6–8: Artist Reception

Melanie Flood Projects is pleased to present Maria Antelman’s second solo show at the gallery: My Touch, Your Command, Your Touch, My Command. The works explore dependencies to informational tools and technologies, taking place in a series of hypothetical scenarios, where analog systems mirror digital situations. Automagically, interfaces and physical spaces collide, prompting novel conditions. Technology’s transformative powers are manifested on the two-headed condition that we are both users and sources of information.

In the video Repeater, amateur radio operators set up their stations  on a remote island facing the sea. In an unexpected turn of events, there is a shift in the natural phenomena: the longitudinal propagation of the radio waves becomes cyclical. All transmissions are distorted, signals are colliding and the whole communication are transformed into an absurd monologue of repeated messages. The signals materialize, and duplicates of the operators appear in the frequencies, having the same voices, thoughts, memories, beliefs and desires. The Repeater, immersed in this state of multiplying parallel worlds, is continually struggling to transcend his duplicates and maintain a sense of self.

Similarly, in the Spacesaver photomontages, readers engage in technical gestures, consuming and feeding information, inside microfilm machines. The users merge with their apparatus into a new existence: the techno-hybrid user-droids. Their motions initiated in the real world, are completed in the binary realm. Screens open to new screens through an infinite circle of passages from the material film to the invisible networks and the endless codes.

Maria Antelman (born in Athens, Greece) makes photographs, videos and sculptures. Recent shows include Videonale.16 at Kunstmuseum in Bonn (February 2017), On the Exactitude of Rain at Ryan Lee Gallery in New York, A Non-Existent Event at Melanie Flood Projects in Portland OR, Notes from the Field at the University of Melbourne, Private Matters at Apexart in New York, Stigmergy at 247365 in Brooklyn, The Amateurs at The Agency in London, ...But the Clouds... at Room East in New York and Capsule Spaces at the Eugenides Foundation in Athens. She holds a BA in Art History from Complutense University in Madrid and an MFA in New Genres from Columbia University.

My Touch, Your Command, Your Touch, My Command is the fifth installment of an ongoing artist series at Melanie Flood Projects, Thinking Through Photography. The series includes a comprehensive survey of contemporary photographic practices through programming that highlights experimental and diverse approaches to image making. Facilitated by exhibitions, artist talks, studio visits, interviews, and suggested readings, it aims to expand the language surrounding photography, while also unveiling progressive work by local artists in the Pacific Northwest & beyond.

Thinking Through Photography is made possible with support from the Precipice Fund, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the Calligram Foundation/Allie Furlotti.



A Non-Existent Event

January 27 - March 1, 2015

Tuesday January 27, 2015 from 6-8pm: Opening reception artist in attendance

Wednesday January 28 2015 from 6-7pm: One night video screening of For Your Eyes Only at Upfor

Melanie Flood Projects is pleased to present A Non-Existent Event, an exhibition of new work by New York-based artist Maria Antelman.  Antelman’s installation is comprised of a sound piece, a sculpture and a series of collages. In addition to the exhibition, the artist will screen her latest video For Your Eyes Only at Portland’s Upfor Gallery on Wednesday, January 28 at 6 pm.

Maria Antelman’s art points directly to our interaction with machines and the complicated systems they weave around us. In her latest body of work, tension is highlighted between the physicality of mechanical devices and the abstraction of the digital reality. In the sound piece The World of Blocks the artist plays with the divergence of natural and technical languages. Voice actors perform the script of SHRDLU, an Artificial Intelligence program created at MIT in 1968-70. The program was intended to enable computers to understand natural human language. In the script, the human user carries on a conversation with the computer program, which follows directions and performs commands.  Antelman’s sound piece changes the context and nature of this event, by taking it out of the microprocessor and turning it into a human dialogue, activating relations of power between conscious knowledge and programmed non-knowledge.

Viewing System is a sculpture made with found photomechanical viewing pieces supported by a wooden structure.  The work springs from Antelman’s interest in the overload of visual information delivered to us through numerous screens and devices.  To this end the sculpture provides a four-eyed viewing piece for an imaginary multi-eyed user. A series of collages presents geometrical compositions with details of mechanical tools, used for building space gear that the artist photographed inside a NASA metal shop. The color palette of the collages, with high acidic hues and saturation levels, was inspired by the gleaming hot landscapes of J.G. Ballard’s 1962 dystopian novel, The Drowned World.

The video For Your Eyes Only explores how the world might feel through the senses of the machines that we design.  Here the artist combines archival images with her own photographs from space exploration centers to take us into the unfamiliar techno-scientific wilderness. Layers of graphic symbols emulating computer vision are superimposed onto the imagery, creating the illusion that machines are viewing and analyzing the images on the screen. The soundtrack is compiled with coding language commands from computer vision programming, highlighting the awkward nature of human-machine interactions.  

Maria Antelman (born Athens, Greece) lives and works in New York City. She holds a BA in Art History from Complutense University in Madrid, Spain and an MFA from Columbia University in New York. Recent shows include Notes from the Field at the University of Melbourne, Soft Machines at Impakt Festival in Utrecht, Private Matters at Apexart in New York, Stigmergy at 247365 in Brooklyn, The Amateurs at The Agency in London, …But the Clouds… at Room East in New York and Capsule Spaces at the Eugenides Foundation in Athens.

Wednesday evening’s screening graciously hosted at: Upfor Gallery located at 929 Northwest Flanders Street, Portland, OR 97209