Emilio Chapela, ‘Why is a raven like a writing desk?’, 2009, Henrique Faria Fine Art

This sentence comes from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and it is a riddle that has neither answer nor sense. I translated the text using a computer between Spanish and English several times, forcing it to fall into a strange looping error.

About Emilio Chapela

Emilio Chapela is a conceptual artist with an academic background in mathematics and communications; his works inspect systems of data, language, scientific experimentation, and networks of information exchange—or otherwise use them to generate the works. Chapela embraces the absurdity and humor in apparently objective systems. In fact, even his artist statement is computer generated. His works manifest in a number of mediums, guided by the principle that data and its (mis)representation are forms of expression. One of his best-known works is a monumental undertaking titled According to Google (2008), comprised of a 45-volume encyclopedia containing images extracted from using Google Image Search as its source. Other works draw from literary influences, particularly the works of Roland Barthes.

Mexican, b. 1978, Berlin, Germany

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