New York – Greg Smith is not your run of the mill artist. Holding both a MFA from Hunter College and a PhD in Physics from Harvard, Smith’s work plays off of contemporary trends in a clever way, highlighting technology’s effect on all aspects of artistic production. His current exhibition at Susan Inglett Gallery, Zero Width Non-Joiner, explores the cross section between art and computer science.
The basis for the exhibition is the Unicode Standard, which is used to regulate digital text, graphics, and characters. The standard serves as an equalizer, allowing code to be transmitted across platforms, languages, and countries. Similarly, Unicode ties together Smith’s show, employing Unicode for titles, source material, and inspiration. The works on paper are examples of computer code prompts and the large sheets display single Unicode symbols. Here Smith reveals to us the immense potential of code: the building block of today’s internet-image based civilization.
Along with Unicode, cameras permeate the exhibition. The White Box and Black Box series contrast the darkness of lenses with the brightness of cameras. The union between the two is demonstrated in the show’s video anchor, Total Runout, Heavy Sparkle, shot entirely through the lenses and cameras in the exhibition. The video acts as the viewer’s lens into Smith’s process of creating. Relying on the cameras to dictate the action of the film, Smith further emphasizes technology’s powerful hand in contemporary art production.
Total Runout, Heavy Sparkle’s set is recreated in the main room of the gallery, where viewers are encouraged to take a seat, eat some popcorn, and enjoy the entirety of the video. All of the objects in the exhibition can be found in the video; the props Smith utilizes and plays with to both realize and drive his goal.
As a whole, Zero Width Non-Joiner is an exciting spectacle of computer code, video projection, and purpose-built main frames and cameras- with a dash of glitter.
The exhibition will be on view at Susan Inglett Gallery in Chelsea, New York, until 29 July.
Words/Photo: Gracie Brahimy © artlyst 2016