God in Reverse: When Wisdom Defies Capture

Richmond Art Gallery

June 3–September 9, 2020
June 3, 2020

www.godinreverse.com
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"We must get the measure/beyond-measure of the prophetic vision of the past and of the imagination of Relation—with its treatment of initial conditions, traces of initial conditions its unpredictability, and with the new fabric we must create, no longer the reflection of the essence but the network of relationships—a relation to the other and relations with other cultures. The all-world is inordinate, an excess we must grasp." –Edouard Glissant

In anticipation of the exhibition God In Reverse: When Wisdom Defies Capture (launching in 2021) and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Richmond Art Gallery is presenting the filmic contributions of the 15 invited artists in an online platform for public viewing. We are inviting you to take advantage of this opportunity and access these works, most of which are available online for the first time. These works will appear, each for a limited time on our platform godinreverse.com. To watch all the works, please bookmark the link and return every week for a new work:

Manuel Correa, Didn't know I Died: June 3–10
Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Rubber Coated Steel: June 10–17
Patricia Reed, Volatility Prophesies: June 17–24
Slavs and Tatars, Hamdami: June 24–July 1
John Gerrard, Farm (Council Bluffs, Iowa): July 1–8
Raqs Media Collective, Passwords for Time Travel: July 8–15
Francis Ruyter, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: July 15–22
Ali Ahadi, The Set: July 22–29
The Otolith Group, The Nucleus of the Great Union: July 29–August 5
Zach Blas, Contra-Internet: August 5–12
Susan Schuppli, Material Witness: August 12–19
Giroux & Young, Berlin 2013/1983: August 19–26
Tabita Rezaire, Premium Connect: August 26–September 2
Alphabet Collection, A Film in One Frame: September 2–9

Curated by Mohammad Salemy, God in Reverse: When Wisdom Defies Capture​ recalls the biblical myth of the Tower of Babel as visually narrated by Pieter Bruegel’s paintings, considering these scenographies within the mythos of artificial intelligence. With the global actualization of AI, the shared experiences between humans and non-humans have become integral as we negotiate with these machines in symbiotic fashion. Human knowledge is thus cast into the tangible and lasting body of machines. The filmic works comprising this exhibition survey various aspects of the metonymic relationship between the algorithmic synthesis of informational flow and the inconspicuous instability of knowledge as it is performed in action, highlighting the shifting border between communication and knowledge.

By focusing on the interrupted flow of human knowledge and its peculiar disunities, the exhibition also sheds light on the reluctance of human knowledge to be captured as a “ghost in the machine,” underscoring its propensity to dwell as a freely floating specter. The works in the exhibit highlight instances of knowledge, historical and contemporary, fiction and nonfiction, which thus far have been next to impossible to “algorithmicate” within the confines of our existing AI technologies. Consisting mostly of various forms of time-based projections, the exhibition attempts to construct a novel form for reconfiguring the spatial and temporal dimension of moving pictures in an exhibition.

Richmond Art Gallery (richmondartgallery.org) is a non-profit public gallery established in 1980, located in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. Based in one of North America’s most culturally diverse communities, Richmond Art Gallery actively produces a range of dynamic programs that connect, empower and provoke dialogue with our local residents. Richmond Art Gallery is located on the ancestral and traditional territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking people. 

This project is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategy Fund.