MARIAH BLUE

Potluck, 2021, Gallery 17717, Seoul

A group exhibition by the artists, Mariah Blue, Kathrin Graf, Lana Murdochy, Younwon Sohn, and Amy Winstanley, exploring what it is to come together and exchange ideas, culture and create bonds of friendship over the sharing of food, space and landscape at a time when the artists can’t physically be together. The exhibition included sculpture, painting, YouTube video playlist, a collaborative video, and also saw the launch of their publication What thoughts think thoughts.
The exhibition is funded by Seoul Metropolitan Government and Foundation for Arts and Culture.

Installation view Potluck, Gallery 17717, Seoul

Video stills Potluck

Potluck is a collaborative video by the artists. It was filmed on the Scottish Isle of Lewis where they shared a house, meals, and conversations. The video examines topics of entanglement, nature, technology, silent space and friendship in relation to a society striving for optimization.

All footage was filmed with mobile phones originally to document our trip together. The idea to make a video came later.

Link to video (excerpt 3:35 min of 13:03 min):
https://vimeo.com/506472557

Installation view Potluck, with recent artist's publications, What thoughts think thoughts and What ties ties, ties,  Gallery 17717, Seoul

What thoughts think thoughts 

A riso printed book of images compiled by the artists, Mariah Blue, Kathrin Graf, Lana Murdochy, Younwon Sohn, and Amy Winstanley, designed by Alex Walker and published by Print Art Research Centre, Seoul.

The pages are bound with an elastic band, allowing the book to also function as a collection of separate prints. The cover displays an index and descriptions of the works written by the artists in English, Korean and German. 

Looking For the Pixels

I zoom further into the screen of my smartphone, looking for the pixels. Every time I get closer I take a screenshot. My camera’s image processing algorithm blurs some parts of the image, sharpens other parts and it corrects the color. Rather than the photos becoming more abstract, the collaborative decision making between me and the camera creates strange and otherworldly forms.

A Bird A Fish, 2021, smartphone screenshots, 14.9 X 7.0 cm

InterObjects, 2021, smartphone screenshots, 14.9 X 7.0 cm

Virtual Walking 

 A sound performance and video installation at Seoul Art Space Geumcheon, in April 2020. 

Visitors listened to a spoken text and video soundscape through handmade paper cone speakers that created various sonic effects without the need for electronic sound equipment. 

 With these simple paper cone  “technologies” the whispered performance was amplified and easily heard throughout the large exhibition hall. Echos and other sound distortions were created when I directed my voice against various acoustic focal points with a paper cone "microphone". This created a range of sound effects. Depending on where one was standing, the voice could be heard as if it were speaking very close to the ear and a quiet whispers echoed throughout the exhibition hall. 


For the exhibition Virtual-Walking visitors were instructed to roll up a printed version of the exhibition text into two paper cones for the purpose of listening to the video installation.

Installation View, Virtual-Walking, Seoul Art Space Geumcheon April 2020

Videos were dispersed throughout the exhibition hall. They worked individually as autonomous pieces but put together also doubled as an immersive sound installation.

Galaxies, 2020, looped videos screened on 2, 10” Samsung tablets

What ties ties, ties

A collection of essays by Mariah Blue, Kathrin Graf, Lana Murdochy, Younwon Sohn, Amy Winstanley

What ties ties, ties is a book created by five artists of different nationalities, backgrounds, ages, and gender identity. This book is tied by 'Doubt', a short story about questioning perceptions of the world by Scottish painter Amy Winstanley (b.1983), 'Call Us by Our Names', poems that are a collaboration between Mariah Blue (b.1977) and a machine learning algorithm, 'Housewarming, Dear Ghost Ants', an invitation essay about house, creature, and future scenery by Korean artist Younwon Sohn (b.1990), 'Tadpoles', a short coming of age story exploring friendship and imagination of young women by Scottish-Kurdish artist Lana Murdochy (b.1995), and 'Moving Matter', an essay on exploring the relationship between feelings and the design of surfaces by German sculptor Kathrin Graf (b.1984).

What ties ties, ties

2020
EN
18.5 x 10.5 cm, 136 pages, soft cover with riso print, 500 copies
Designed by Alex Walker
Published by Print Art Research Center, Seoul, South Korea
Printing & Binding by Printon Trükikoda
ISBN 979 -11-956458-7-9
€ 12

Call Us by Our Names is collaborative poetry written by a text predicting algorithm and curated by myself. The content for these poems is sourced from a trained dataset of eight million web pages. 

Book launch What ties ties, ties at NEVERNEVERLAND, Amsterdam, 7 March 2020

Kathrin Graf - what ties ties, ties

Sonic Meditation: Vibrational Bodies

In a collaborative sound performance with artist Tina Reden, we discovered the sonic possibilities of ceramic coil pots as natural speakers — think of the sound produced by a sea shell when held to the ear. The varying shapes and sizes of the hand built coiled pots create varied tonalities depending on how they are interacted with. These ceramic coil pots were made using similar techniques to those used since the stone age. We imagine alternative uses for technologies and play with the distinctions between hi and low tech by plugging in these stone age pottery vessels and using them as musical instruments.

Sonic Meditation and Vibrational Bodies, 2019

A collaborative performance with Tina Reden, Zone2Source, Amsterdam 

https://youtu.be/yybL5j1kx5o 

SleepeelS 

Fictional persona, SleepeelS, uses Youtube’s Creator interface as a medium. In her live performances, she  co-opts the digital devices of her audience through the Youtube platform. A cacophony of echoes can be heard in the room as  phones playback her performance  at differing stream rates. These echos are fed back into her computer mic and broadcasted again, creating a sonic feedback loop. Eventually all speech is drowned out by the intensifying reverb. 
The Youtube algorithm is designed to selectively choose extreme content in order to captivate the attention of its audience. A feedback loop occurs between viewer and algorithm where ideologies become polarized in a self-fulfilling echo chamber of ideas. SleepeelS hopes to someday be an influencer of the Youtube algorithm. 




SleepeelS youtube channel livestream performance, broadcasted on multiple handheld devices during Torpor/A Bliss/A Slump, Staircase exhibition May 2019. 

https://youtu.be/Aq1knyuTTLM

You Are The Future, 2019, Youtube video, 2:28 min

https://youtu.be/KoHkbAImVWc


Silicon Valley Doomsday, 2019, Youtube video, screened for Festival of Choices, Zone2Source, Amsterdam

https://youtu.be/_26gDbd1CUM

Sleepeelssleepeelssleepeels, 2020, reversed sound recording, 0:09 min

SleepeelS is a phonetic palindrome, is sounds the same played backwards as it does forwards.

https://youtu.be/EwMLLy2GqOQ

Paradox

In order to escape ambiguities, technology allows us to imagine and prepare for future scenarios. As an artifact of human thinking, technology serves in the ordering and shaping of our natural world. Human thought is the code from which technologies are written. When a machine is used for complex decision making that is normally done by humans, contradictions become apparent. A machine is not capable of all forms of logic. When algorithms make these kind of decisions, human prejudice is looped back on itself exacerbating inequalities and divisions in societies.

Paradoxical Mountain, 2019, 3:23 min

My friend and colleague Younwon Sohn shot the original footage for this video. 

https://youtu.be/GmZbmeBubj4

RT/ActivTrak, 2019, 3:21 min

In this video, a worker surveillance algorithm mines SleepeelS' employee data, takes random screenshots of her online activity, and tracks her digital activities.

https://youtu.be/F1n_Pw9Oc_g 

Fugue State, 2018, Looped videos on 34×20 cm Asus tablets

Screen recordings of Philosophical conversations with Siri. Siri's inability to improvise a response to my questions led to frustrating circular conversations between us.  

Helpling Grrrl, 2018, video, 0:34 min

The Helpling house cleaners platform logo has been manipulated in video editing software and gains her own voice.

https://youtu.be/C9P1CEwxlww  

Domestic Work Algorithm

These works examine the exploitative relationships between labor and digital platforms. I use my employee work data to create digital tapestries.This data is collected from my “day job” with the domestic labor platform Helpling, a digital platform described as “Uber for housekeepers.” The tapestries are created by a similarly exploitative online platform which outsources weaving to the lowest bidder. 

Digital weaving of work data from contracted cleaning work with Helpling™ domestic help platform

Tapeworms Mosaic (hand embroidery detail), 2018, 50 x 150 cm, digital weaving


Domestic Work Algorithm and Tapeworms Mosaic, 2018, 50 x 150 cm, digital weaving


Algorithmic Drawings

Digital drawings can be made using the language of code. Anything can be used as data and therefor programmed into a drawing.

Symbols are hand drawn in repetitions following an algorithmic equation. The equation is created using dice. The dice choose which symbols will be used within the drawings, how many times they will be repeated, what order, and the colors which are used. The drawings can be hand replicated once an equation is formulated. 


   

Kraken, Digital representation of cryptocurrency trading from October 2017 to January 2018, Dimensions variable

Kraken and Domestic Work, 2018, Dimensions variable

Digital representations of cryptocurrency trading and Helpling labour programmed in Java 

Domestic Work Algorithm Java Code, 2018, Dimensions Variable

Java program using data from my work with the online house cleaners platform Helpling.  

Algorithmic Drawing, 2017, colored pencil on paper 150 x 125 cm

Part of a series of drawings created using imaginary symbols drawn in repetitions according to an equation created by dice throwing.

Performed Algorithmic Drawings,  2017, Dimensions variable

Documentation of Performance at De Punt, Amsterdam


VR Bodies

What bodies might look like if downloaded into a virtual space. The evolutionary process scrambles and bodies morph into various biological forms. Sometimes limbs are added or subtracted and there can be the addition of feathers and tails as well as the presentation of multiple genders. 

VR Goddess, 2017, dimensions variable

still from virtual reality drawing

Vr Bodies, 2017, still from virtual reality drawing,  dimensions variable

Vr Bodies, 2017, still from virtual reality drawing, dimensions variable

Using Format