“Dating Data”
Through March 5th

“Information is a lover that doesn’t speak our language, a lover we visit every day with no hope to touch, explain or understand.” (Witold Gombrowicz)

“Reality cannot be avoided,” argues curator Josée Bienvenu in “Dating Data,”an exhibition of works on paper by 18 artists. Reality cannot be avoided, but watching an infinite sequence of simultaneous, precise and live news reports is not enough to understand the difference between live broadcasting and death, between business and democracy.

The artists included in “Dating Data” address our ambivalent fascination with information culture. They manipulate and process various kinds of data to produce works that confirm that we are condemned to know more and understand less.

Beth Campbell makes art out of the way we think. In her “My Potential Future Based on Present Circumstances” series of drawings, she connects autobiographical events, thinks them through, mines the data of her thoughts and presents the potential outcomes of personal events through parallel chains of circumstance.

Mark Lombardi’s monumental flowchart drawings trace the circuitous yet intersecting flows of legal and illicit capital, revealing the links between clandestine plots and the rogue beauty of global corruption.

Devising his own conspiracy theories, David Opdyke invokes well-known symbols, such as the American flag and corporate logos, using them as quasi-magical emblems of largely unlocatable sources of power.

Danica Phelps’s “generation drawings” document every financial transaction in her life. Nicolas Rule’s genealogical charts tracks the major bloodlines of current American horse champions, with particular attention given to inbreeding.

Ingrid Calame traces the contours of stains she finds on the streets of New York and Los Angeles, left behind after the transactions of daily life are finished.
In “Tide Drawings,” Jill Baroff meticulously registers the repercussions of waves and turns them into micrographs. Tim Bavington’s stripe drawings are color visualizations of music's passage through time.

Type A, the collaborative team of Adam Ames and Andrew Bordwin produces works that explore the phenomenon of male competitiveness and needless aggression. In “Push,” they take turns standing and shoving each other. The pusher’s steps and the pushee’s landing are outlined and systematically numbered in sequence.

The artists in “Dating Data” have also set up various processes of recording, fragmenting and obliterating information. Stefana McClure and Fidel Sclavo condense text and typeface to the point of near illegibility. Jacob El Hanani’s drawings, based on the phone book, also display inaccessible data.

Elena del Rivero’s “Letter from the Bride” is made up entirely of clothing labels where the word “medium” is repeated throughout the page. Tom Friedman’s “Secrets” is a letter made of infinitesimal words -- things barely heard or said and totally impossible to read. “Down” is an alphabetized list of words with negative connotations taken from the dictionary.

Rutherford Chang cuts out every word in a copy of the “New York Times” and rearranges them in alphabetical order, turning daily news into abstraction. Finally, John Sparagana "distresses" photo spreads he finds in fashion magazines, rolling and creasing them until the once-glossy pages become so thin that the selected image evaporates.

Shown/Header image: "My Potential Future Based on Present Circumstances (1/12/05)" (2005)
Ink on paper, 50 x 38.5 inches (detail)
Beth Campbell

Find it: Josée Bienvenu Gallery
529 West 20th Street (between 10th & 11th Avenues)
New York NY 10011
Get there: 1/2/3/9 to 23rd St.
Get info: (212) 206-0297

Find art events in other cities, in the FEB/MAR 2005 issue of "Arte Six."