Michael Joaquin Grey
United States, b. 1961
Artwork website: Recapitulate: Erase, Retrace, Repeat
This work is a gallery installation. Click on the link above to view a web page representation of the gallery installation. See the images below for photographs of the installation.
Recapitulate: Retrace, Erase, Repeat
Software, digital real-time projection
Remixing: Ouija 2000
Collection of the artist
Where Ouija 2000 reimagines the autonomic writing machine, Recapitulate reinvents the autonomic drawing machine, as software with self-organizing agents/attractors that do not simply digitally “print” an image, but rather seek out an image in real time, tentatively, line by line, differently each time. The artist “recapitulates the ontogeny” of visualization and perception by following the narrative and process of drawing. The retracing process then continues by reversing and decaying the image: creation, destruction, variation, iteration.
In this installation, the work’s process recapitulates Goya's famous collection of etchings The Disasters of War, on view in the Theater Gallery. Grey's retracing system redraws one etching about every fifteen minutes, in four simultaneous yet different iterations. In retracing the etchings approximately, the work approaches, yet never reaches, the original image. In Recapitulate, Grey proposes a revision of the classic biogenic law “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”—the development of the individual mirrors that of the species—in the form of ”Culture recapitulates ontogeny.”
For the past twenty years, Michael Joaquin Grey has been creating work that extends and plays with the boundaries of art, science, and media. His investigation centers around the origins of life, language, and form as related to emergent and complex systems. Critical moments in natural phenomenon and culture are objects in his work, as are the prepositional states of change between matter, energy, behavior, and meaning. Grey’s creative dialogue engages pedagogy and the creative limitations of the tools and processes we use to observe, learn, and play with our world. Grey has exhibited and/or is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami; Serpentine Gallery, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Milwaukee Art Museum; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Norrtalje Konsthall, Sweden; Kunsthalle Loppem, Belgium; Brooke Alexander Editions, New York; Lisson Gallery, London; Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York; Stuart Regen Gallery, Los Angeles; Gagosian Gallery, New York; and bitforms, New York. His last real job was as a preparator at the University Art Museum, Berkeley from 1986 to 1988.