NOME presents a solo show by conceptual artist James Bridle, with an extensive overview of his practice, composed of a video, mixed media and prints.
From the exhibition The Glomar Response (Nome Gallery, July 2015) the artist presents the video Seamless Transitions (2015) and the mixed media artwork Chagos (Waterboarded Documents 002) (2015). The video unveils the secret infrastructure of detention, judgement and deportation. It applies a forensic sensibility to 3D demonstrative evidence in order to visualize the architecture, administration, and politics of high-security sites.
Chagos is a documentary installation which illustrate the complicity between contemporary technological networks and historical forms of imperial power. A custom-built steel and glass-topped table presents maps of the Chagos Archipelago, part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, along with documents detailing the role of the islands in human rights abuse, torture and rendition, and on the operation of websites linked with the offshore location. The documents have been spoiled by water, following the UK Government’s claim that crucial evidence on the territory’s role in the CIA torture program was similarly damaged.
Produced for the exhibition Failing to Distinguish Between a Tractor Trailer and the Bright White Sky (Nome Gallery, April 2017), the series Untitled (Activation) focus on self-driving systems to explore technologies of prediction and automation as they settle into our everyday lives. The title of this exhibition is taken from an accident report into a fatal crash involving an automobile whose self-driving system failed to alert its human driver to an oncoming hazard. The autonomous car and the issues it raises stand in for many of the questions facing us today — from our relationship to technology and artificial intelligence, to the automation of labour and the political opacity of complex systems.
James Bridle worked with software and geography to create the components for his own self-driving car: an autonomous vehicle which learns to get lost. Using freely available tools and research papers, through a process of engineering and self-education, the artist seeks to understand both how to appropriate contemporary technologies for divergent purposes, and, when necessary, how to resist them.
These works test the limits of human knowing and machine perception, strategize modes of resistance to algorithmic regimes, and devise new poetic possibilities for an age of computation.