Academic journal article Afterimage

Mediated Algorithms

Academic journal article Afterimage

Mediated Algorithms

Article excerpt

Clive Holden: Media, Mediated

Stephen Bulger Gallery


March 2-30, 2013

An approach to artmaking that is driven by the prospect of chance, by the accidental, is reliant upon the inherent rationale of the natural world. There, chaos constitutes change (or vice versa) and reveals new forms that displace and/or update the old. Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist Clive Holden's recent practice has manipulated the properties of the natural world into an aesthetic strategy. Utilizing the randomization and dynamism found in nature serves to unsettle and reconfigure his installations, transforming them into ever-evolving media.

Holden's installations at his recent exhibition, Media, Mediated, at Stephen Bulger Gallery in Toronto, engaged ephemerality through carefully composed algorithms and computer programming languages such as HTML5, JavaScript, and GIFs, reshuffling his selected images ad infinitum. For instance, Wind at Lake Manitoba (2013) featured a monitor cross-sectioned into sixty-four small frames of stripped tree branches in a state of flux. Each frame captured the tree in close-up, its few shrivelled leaves at times barely visible, and at other times so near that they remain out of focus. The rampant energy, flickering, and spatial orientation of the images may have impelled some viewers toward discomfort because they were at once here, there, and everywhere--multidimensionality as material. Interjected into these frames at random points in time against a stark black background were the words "WIND AT LAKE MANITOBA." The incorporation of descriptive text with montaged Super 8 film images made reference to a semblance of narrative, and correspondingly, to the qualities of traditional cinema. For Jacques Ranciere, "The image is never a simple reality. Cinematic images are primarily operations, relations between the sayable and the visible, ways of playing with the before and the after, cause and effect." (1) Although he engages traditional cinematic media, Holden's work is stimulating precisely because the before and after, the cause and effect, have been made wholly unpredictable.

In a compelling formal juxtaposition, Wind at Lake Manitoba was (re)created by Holden as a large-scale 4 x 6-foot chromogenic print. Here, the movement and instability that characterized the media wall installation of the same name has been rendered static, captured and immobilized in both space and time. Though it features a slightly different spatial orientation--seven horizontal frames and eight vertical frames--the print stands and declares itself as an autonomous object. What this does is open up a space in which the viewer can dictate their responses rather than have their responses, rather schizophrenically, mediated to them.

Holden's large-scale print Countdown, 8s (2013) further reconciles his interest in cinematic forms and static images. …

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