At Art Cologne, Spiros Hadjidjanos Dives Headfirst into the Information Age
Spiros Hadjidjanos isn’t the only artist to harness cutting-edge technology and explore the ways it can alter the fabric of reality. His work stands out, however, for its refusal to offer a simplistic celebration or a one-dimensional critique of our digital landscape.
Case in point for Hadjidjanos’ use of technology as a tool and as a subject is Transmission-in-itself (2015), a sculpture currently on view in Future Gallery’s booth at Art Cologne 2016. At first, the piece has the air of a joke or a bauble, like a 21st-century take on the “ship in a bottle.” A ubiquitous Apple keyboard has been placed inside a glass bottle, its USB cord limply dangling from the opening. The sculpture could be seen as an attempt to capture the essence of communication by isolating and preserving a modern mechanism for such transmissions. However, though the keyboard might be safely contained, its utility has been completely lost in the process.
If Transmission-in-itself attempts to isolate information, Hadjidjanos’ other works have used technology to make visible the information we can’t otherwise see. A series of his UV prints, for instance, transform photographs from Karl Blossfeldt’s Urformen der Kunst, a book of extreme close-ups of botanical images. Hadjidjanos used computer algorithms to add a sense of depth to the images, so the resulting pieces hover between two and three dimensions. In each, a complex flower or leaf seems to almost emerge into reality.
Yet it’s illusory: The information, captivating as it is, can’t quite escape the flatness of the photograph. As such, while Hadjidjanos brings a magnifying glass to these streams of information running through our daily existence, he sees not only the possibilities, but also the limits.
Spiros Hadjidjanos’ work is on view at Art Cologne, Apr. 14–17, 2016.