Automata For Colour II
Exhibition Runs: May 9th – June 9th, 2012
Opening Reception: Thursday May 10th
Kelly Andres’ work presents the viewer with systems saturated with complexity – alive, organic and unstable, but also transparent and navigable. Her practice is centred around these explorations and inventively utilizes flora (and the micro ecosystems symbiotically existing alongside them), dyes, construction materials and electronic components to build and animate dynamic and ephemeral systems of growth, accumulation and decay.
In time for spring, Kelly Andres will be presenting Automata for Colour II at Whippersnapper Gallery. Similar to previous works exploring the parallels between biological systems and organic processes like transpiration (the means by which plants ‘sweat’ moisture from stems and leaves) to computing processes, Andres’ installation at Whippersnapper will feature a living array of tiger ferns, Ivies and other foliage embedded within a structural architecture that uses holding tanks, dyes and plumbing to house, feed and affect the visual appearance of the plants.
At the heart of the work is an intense and compelling fascination with the idea of data. Traditionally we think of data as the unindividuated components of a larger object. It is the sand that becomes the glass; a technical language beyond the comprehension of most but none the less crucial to our function. Andres, with a poetic and unabashedly raw use of material, has developed a means to process the enveloping data sets of our natural physical surroundings. In doing so, she asks how methodologies to data collection and analysis may inform the eclectic and experiential realities of our relationships with nature.
Andres’ works process the atmosphere, sunlight, chemical flows and nutrient bases by forcing them through mechanisms not unlike that of a computer – the piping is analogous to the logic gates of a processor, the flora accumulates the coloured water just as memory becomes becomes an ongoing document of operations in a computer. Each of these functions, as well as a number of other measurable momentums within her work are constantly a product of the data streaming into the system and inherently reflect the material constructions of each piece.
Inevitably the system that comprises Automata for Colour II will deteriorate over the duration of the exhibition. Andres’ work is intentionally ephemeral; decay and expiration are integral material states that contribute to the performativity of the work. The installation at Whippersnapper Gallery will feature a camera to periodically capture images of the flowers as they change colour, grow and eventually begin to wilt. The images, projected within the gallery will increasingly pose as a counterbalance to the dying foliage, presenting moments of the life cycle as the remaining structure becomes static and the biological activity ceases.
Andres’ systems are set upon a trajectory and act within the parameters of a logical set of rules defined by discrete values. Mirroring systems found in nature with a potential for incomprehensibly complex and irreproducible array of variables, Andres’ are often reduced to the point of a single switch; a single point of decision from which an observer can trace the arc of an active agent- logically and with accountability.
Andres’ work is innovative, inventive and thought provoking – situated at the confluence of material exploration and performance, inspiring a sense of curiosity, play and wonder.
Consistently throughout Andres’ work one finds her striving to establish a framework capable of autonomously balancing active, lively and transformative processes with an honesty of material use and construction. It is within these precarious systems that the viewer is able to explore each movement and point of change, tracing the trajectory of the system’s activity and energies – to see both the simplicity and the complexity of these contained expanses.