Intelligent Machinery

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Sofie Loscher | Jonathan Mayhew | Niamh O’Doherty

Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin

Exhibition Dates: April 3rd – May 31st

A polarity is presently developing between the finite, unique work of high art, that is, painting or sculpture, and conceptions that can loosely be termed unobjects, these being either environments or artifacts that resist prevailing critical analysis. This includes works by some primary sculptors (though some may reject the charge of creating environments), some gallery kinetic and luminous art, some outdoor works, happenings, and mixed media presentations. Looming below the surface of this dichotomy is a sense of radical evolution that seems to run counter to the waning revolution of abstract and nonobjective art. The evolution embraces a series of absolutely logical and incremental changes.1

The exhibition ‘Intelligent Machinery’ explores ideas that inform artificial intelligence, pattern recognition (in neural networks), complex networks, coding, and how these factors have been used in seminal moments in our history. The classical grid of Art History has given way to the ‘system’, and modern forms of invention have to deal with a norm composed of complex inputs often concerned with redaction, obfuscation and reflection.  “To understand art as software is to understand it in terms of codes and information rather than in material or medium-specific terms.” A contemporary art-tech revolution now sees a new form of mechanical perception within the confusion of digital avatars.

Sofie Loscher (b. 1987) lives and works in Dublin. She holds an MFA in Sculpture from NCAD and a BA in Visual Arts Practice from IADT. Recent exhibitions include Neutral: Tulca Festival of Visual Arts, Galway (2014); EVA International, Limerick (2014) and Periodical Review #4, Pallas Projects/Studios, Dublin (2014).

Jonathan Mayhew (b. 1981) is currently based in Paris. He holds an MFA and BA in Painting from NCAD. Recent exhibitions include Elefants, The Joinery, Dublin (2014); Housing a Pig, Flood, Dublin (2013) and (((O))), Clonlea Studios, Dublin (2013).

Niamh O’Doherty (b. 1988) is a visual artist based in Dublin. O’Doherty graduated from Fine art at Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2010 and an MA in Art in the Contemporary World, NCAD in 2013. She was recently awarded a grant from She was selected to exhibited at Kilruddery House, Co. Wicklow (2013) and a had a solo exhibition at Broadstone Studios (2014) and has previously shown in London at the Wayward Gallery (2010) and at Slade School of Art (2011).

  1. Jack Burnham (1968) Systems Esthetics. http://www.arts.ucsb.edu/faculty/jevbratt/classes_previous/fall_03/arts_22/Burnham_Systems_Esthetics.html
  2. Francis Halsall, (2008) ‘Systems Aesthetics and the system as media’ from Francis Halsall, Systems of Art, (Peter Lang, 2008): http://systemsart.org/halsall_paper.html

This exhibition is curated by Dr. Hilary Murray, Director of ArtBox