Deep Sheet Sweaty Dream
Alaska Projects, 2017
“Deep Dream” is a program created by Google which uses algorithms to detect patterns in visual stimuli. The public use program enables users to input any image and ‘start dreaming’. Users choose how many dream cycles they put the image through and the result is a psychedelic melange of patterns upon patterns and images upon images.This is a computer-generated algorithm but it mimics the human tendency towards pareidolia, which is the spontaneous and often subconscious recognition of patterns within obscure stimuli. The prints use the concept of pareidolia and “deep dreaming” by using mechanical diagrams and industrial signage as source material. Patterns were created in many layers to form a new and complex image, with a ‘hero’ pattern or symbol in the centre. In large format, the prints function like a Rorschach test, whereby the audience extrapolate their own interpretation for the image they are looking at.The two sculptures come from the same source material as the prints, inhabiting the boundary between figuration and abstraction. They are psycho-sexual minimalist sculptures that on the one hand are grounded in industrial fabrication processes and materials, yet on the other exist in a realm of free-association, memory and psyche.As they are all taken from industrial source material, the works may also be approached as a formal language of the industrial past century, from which we have almost extracted ourselves but not entirely. Will one day humans look back at parts of cars, manhole covers for gas and electricity services, and complex schematic diagrams for machines as semi-sacred objects? Our prosperity has been built upon resources and industry, so it would not be out of the question for a post-industrial society from the future to believe that we deified the infrastructural elements of the industry that is becoming our environmental downfall.