Kynan Tan analyses and stretches 'Permutations'

Dominik Mersch Gallery
Nov 30, 2018 5:12AM

Kynan Tan is interested in networks, data, relationality and digital systems of control, exploring these areas through digitally derived artworks. For his solo show ‘Permutations’ (1 November – 25 November 2018), Tan’s multi-sensory works take form as installations, photographic prints, 3D-printed sculptures based on the data from dreams and DNA, simulations, sound and video works, all of which question the unseen structures underpinning our experience in a data-filled world. Tan recently completed his PhD at UNSW Art & Design and has exhibited across Australia and internationally, including in ‘Primavera’ (2017) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, and the Beijing Media Arts Biennale (2018). Scroll to read his artist statement below.

Kynan Tan, ‘Automated Logistics Simulation’, 2018, computer-generated simulation, edition of 3 + 1AP

In my artistic practice, I try and make sense of the complexity of computational systems through the becoming-sensory of data and algorithm. I'm concerned with how data and algorithm are understood and utilised in contemporary society, in that they are abstracted and made into something separate from their materials, conditions, and relations. Computation colours everything it touches with an algorithmic logic, a particular kind of ordering and sequencing that also brings forth apprehensions and paranoias.

Permutations explores the way data is continually produced, manipulated, reordered, and made sensory. The works in this exhibition play with the seemingly endless permutations of data to investigate the scale and scope of data as well as its elegance and anxieties. Through 3D-printed sculpture, video, sound, simulation, and generative installation, these works find ways of making sensory the invisible data that subtends our experience of the world. In doing so, the works create new renderings of data that articulate both its darkness and our underlying fears, as well as how the extension and repetition of simple actions finds balance between order and complexity.

I am particularly interested in the limits of data, such as the extent to which we can generate data. Although current logic in governments, corporations, and computer science (such as in machine learning and artificial intelligence) calls for ever more data in order to better predict and model behaviours, I am interested in how we can aesthetically investigate this glut of data, and what this mass of data means as it moves beyond our scales of comprehension. Here I hope to come to an understanding of computation through its affects and aesthetics, questioning what it means and how it feels to live alongside the interrelated complexity of data and the many ways it manifests.

Installation view of 'Permutations' at Dominik Mersch Gallery

Dominik Mersch Gallery