Curated by Philip Tinari and Guo Xi
John Gerrard’s first exhibition in China featured Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada), Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma) and Exercise (Dunhuang) recently shown at UCCA in 798 , Beijing.
Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada) John Gerrard, POWER.PLAY at UCCA, 798, Beijing Summer 2016
What is real and what is a real representation are some of the internal workings going on with you as you experience these huge simulated light sculptures. These ambiguous interventions are so very similar to camera work. The slow steady panning of movement is quite hypnotic and the viewer needs time to find out how they are responding to this slightly strange yet familiar world.
But there are many layers to this new media and lucky for me Gerrard is one of the most articulate artists I have come across.
These pieces of software do not exist if they’re not energized. “The works are effectively energy in transit. That’s their condition. There is no film. There is no artifact. You simply have this set of instructions, which is bundled into an executable file. Without a computer to execute it, you have nothing. So my logic around that is that this is a very pregnant way to respond to contemporary conditions, because a lot of our realities are profoundly influenced by what I would call the algorithmic turn. Investment banking, political decision-making, military decision-making, trade, supermarkets: they are modeling reality, and, on that basis, they are making decisions about how reality is formed.”