Oliver Frank Chanarin: A Perfect Sentence Workshop

Oliver Frank Chanarin: A Perfect Sentence.

The workshop, involving i-DAT/CODEX PhD and Experience Design and Architecture Masters students, took place during the Oliver Frank Chanarin: A Perfect Sentence.

26 JAN – 23 MAR 2024 at KARST.

i-DAT would like to thank Oliver Chanarin, Antonia Shaw (Forma) and Ben Borthwick for letting us play with their beautifully delicate installation.
Workshop images by Francie...

“A Perfect Sentence explores the shifting terrain of documentary photography: our drive for attention, the complexity of being seen and our anxiety of being overlooked. Commissioned and produced by Forma with eight partners, A Perfect Sentence is Oliver Frank Chanarin’s first UK solo exhibition and will see multiple presentations across the country, public acquisitions, a digital platform and a publication.

This new iteration of A Perfect Sentence at KARST interrogates the photographic image in the age of the algorithm. At the centre of this installation are two machines made by the artist in collaboration with Tom Cecil and Ruairi Glynn. They continuously hang and rehang framed photographs that are stored in stacks on the gallery floor. Appropriating the language of automation, the machines handle the images according to an inscrutable logic; identifying, sorting, displaying, juxtaposing and storing photographs for the duration of the exhibition.”

In December, Oliver Frank Chanarin discussed his new automated artwork developed in collaboration with Tom Cecil and Ruiari Glynn that hangs and rehangs photographic displays.

“Operating according to an inscrutable algorithm, the machine selects and juxtaposes images that are stored in stacks on the gallery floor. Appropriating the language of automation the machine handles the individual art works like objects being processed, sorted, displayed and stored; thus transforming the space into something more like a factory than a gallery.

The Apparatus was originally R&D’d and displayed in San Francisco MoMA (SFMoMA) in 2021, where the machine monitored the time visitors spend looking at specific works and used the results to determine the exhibition hang. Chanarin describes the prototype exhibited at SFMoMA as “an icon-producing machine” that responds to viewers’ preferences and speaks to our everyday experience of images online.

Chanarin has spent the last year working with Cecil and Glynn redesigning and developing the machine to robotic functionality ahead of its premiere at KARST, Plymouth in an exhibition titled A Perfect Sentence. The exhibition opens on 25 January and runs until 23 March 2024, during which time members of i-DAT will collaborate with Chanarin to research and explore possibilities of deploying artificial intelligence.”

Images: Oliver Frank Chanarin, stills from studio documentation, 2023. Copyright and courtesy the artist.

Commissioned and produced by Forma, in collaboration with eight UK organisations. Supported by Arts Council England, Art Fund and Outset Partners.