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A quick look at "Software Update/System Build" (a sculputral piece at the Henry Art Gallery)

A quick look at "Software Update/System Build" (a sculputral piece at the Henry Art Gallery)

My speciality isn't visual art, but since I'm interested in how texts evolve online, I thought "Software Update/System Build" might have relevance and I was not disappointed.  I stopped by to watch the artist (Sol Hashemi) set up his exhibit at the Henry Arts Gallery in Seattle.  He told me that some parts of the piece are images that he has used for earlier work and has chosen to place in a new context.  He not only will continue to alter the project throughout this current exhibition, but extends his previous pieces into this one (and potentially beyond it).  This mimics--in some ways--the continual re-contextualizing of images and other information online (for example, in memes).  

He pointed to a pile of rocks he has collected that will become part of the piece's references to the natural world, and explained how he plans to make the process of using water to cool the computer down part of the sculptural elements of the piece.  What I saw showed a clear desire to show the physical rootedness of computing, though I wasn't sure if this urge was ultimately going to gesture toward success or point to the impossibility of physical connectedness (or pass judgment on it).  

Over-all, an interesting take on making digital processes tangible--and our continual desire to describe digital things in the context of the physical world, and map them.  

Here's the Henry's writeup of the exhibit:  
http://www.henryart.org/exhibitions/current/1197

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