Hayal Pozanti at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

“Deep Learning”,  Hayal Pozanti’s solo show, currently on display at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield Connecticut, features work related to technology and the human experience. Robert D. Hof’s article “Deep Learning” (MIT Technology Review, April 23,2013) is quoted in the catalog: Deep Learning in reference to “software [that] attempts to mimic the activity in layers of neurons in the neocortex”.

Pozanti employs her own alphabet of 31 shapes named “Instant Paradise” to create paintings and digital animations. Her new, large scale rectangular paintings are the same proportions of a smartphone screen but blown up to almost room sized canvases.


“Sixty Seven” – 2015
Courtesy the artist, Jessica Silverman Gallery San Fransisco and the Aldrich Museum

The paintings are all based on source data that is documented in the curatorial signage. “Sixty Seven” has “Source data: milliseconds it takes for the human brain to form a microexpression”.

Pozanti generates images through a process of selecting and overlapping shapes from her alphabet. The more the images are repeated over time the more recognizable they become. This is similar to the way Deep Learning software operates. All of these canvases were hand painted. Instead of using a computer to create these images, the artist is generating the work in reference to the software.


Gallery View

In the center of the gallery, video screens are suspended from the ceiling above eye level. Their placement and size are like an airport terminal or waiting room. Each screen is playing one of Pozanti’s digital videos featuring images generated from the “Instant Paradise” alphabet. The videos have a sound track of abstract poetry developed by assigning the shapes sounds.

Hayal Pozanti’s work relates to mathematics in two ways. The images have been created using algorithmic rules to explore the permutations of possibilities combining 31 distinct shapes. The paintings and videos are also an expression of computer’s ability to mimic human processes, as well as, how humans react to the technology that is now part of everyday life.

Susan Happersett

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