POSTmatter x fig-2
July 23, 2015

Introducing our exhibition at fig-2, a programme of 50 exhibitions in 50 weeks, in which we explore the natural landscape in a postdigital age

We are delighted to announce our new exhibition, in collaboration with fig-2 at the ICA Studio, London. Taking place in the gallery and on, we explore the natural landscape in a postdigital age. Through embracing the daily production of content on the dichotomy of nature and its digitalisation as artifice, and inviting a large set of contributors ranging from artists to writers, curators and theorists, we open the ground for interrogation, evaluation and production.

Evoking an aesthetic akin to Marcel Broodthaer’s seminal work ‘Jardin d’Hivers’ (1974), the exhibition set-up will be composed of artworks and pot plants that are placed in various configurations. The gesture of borrowing representations from a natural surrounding acts as a trigger to further the thematic investigation on environment and digital landscape. The setting for ideas include works by Emma Charles,Mark Dorf, John Gerrard, Jacob Kirkegaard and Clement Valla.

Accumulating immediate and recently composed responses to the aforementioned theme, the week long project takes on a strong digital dimension. The project includes essays written within an hour limit by artists and writers, web-chats between contributing artists and selected writers and curators, artist contributions on our digital platform, and a live event at fig-2 that will generate a communal text composed by five writers, thinkers and curators on Sunday afternoon. Tickets will be available from Monday 20th of July at the ICA website.



1. Mark Dorf, //_PATH, 2012

Untitled72, 1min 16s, looped, Untitled56, 1m 4s, looped

New York based artist Mark Dorf presents two video works from //_PATH, in which he examines western society’s interactions with the digital world and its relationship to our natural origins. He is interested in how we encounter, translate, and understand our surroundings through the filter of science, maths and technology. Combining digital photography, collage and 3D scanning to create geometric and synthetic forms within the landscape, he seeks to understand our habitation of the 21st century world through the juxtaposition of nature and the digital domain.


2. Clement Valla, Postcards from Google Earth, 2010

Inkjet print on hahnemuhle photo rag pearl. Courtesy of XPO Gallery

Clement Valla is based in New York. He presents an image from Postcards From Google Earth, in which he exposes moments found on Google Earth where the illusion of a seamless representation of the Earth’s surface seems to break down. While these occurrences have the appearance of glitches, they are in fact the absolute logical result of the system. They reveal Google Earth to be an automated database disguised as a photographic representation. These uncanny images focus attention on that process itself, and the network of algorithms, computers, storage systems, automated cameras, pilots, engineers, surveyors and map-makers that generate them.


3. Jacob Kirkegaard, Stigma, 2014

33 min field recording and video footage, looped

Jacob Kirkegaard is a Berlin based artist and composer. He presents Stigma, which was recorded and filmed in four places in the natural landscape around the disabled nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan. The layered sound recording of each space reveals its resonant frequencies, exploring unheard sonic phenomena through digital tools. This composition is accompanied by layered video of the same space on a vertical screen, inspired by the Japanese hanging scrolls tradition with their evocations of nature and floating landscapes.


4. John Gerrard, Working Drawing for Infinite Freedom Exercise (near Abadan, Iran), 2011

Giglee print on hahnemuhle photo rag. Courtesy of Thomas Dane Gallery

Dublin and Vienna based John Gerrard presents Working Drawing for Infinite Freedom Exercise (near Abadan, Iran), a computer-generated version of a landscape found in southern Iran. A virtual camera circles a simulated figure standing in the road, dressed in non-nationalised army fatigues. The man performs a routine of gestures derived from contemporary military exercise, day and night – without ever leaving his post – for a full calendar year, during which the simulated sun, moon and stars traverse their actual paths in real-time. Created using 3D motion scanning, and in collaboration with choreographer Wayne McGregor, the performance is both repetitive and consistently developing.


5. Emma Charles, The Straightest Path Allowed by Law, 2015

Mixed media installation: carousel slide projection w/72 c-type prints. Courtesy of South Kiosk Gallery

Emma Charles is a London based artist. She presents her photo series The Straightest Path Allowed by Law, an exploration into the relationship between trading routes and the phenomenon of the American landscape. In 2010, the Allegheny mountain region of Pennsylvania was drilled through to make way for a private fibre-optic cable line, constructed to speed up high-frequency trading times between New York and Chicago by a matter of milliseconds. Tracing this route along small paved roads, bridges and railroads, Charles examines what it represents as a topographic survey of economics, uncovering the invisible presence of financial markets in a seemingly vernacular landscape.


The POSTmatter x fig-2 exhibition opens on 20th July 2015, 6-8pm at ICA Studio, London. It is open daily 11am to 6pm. Check back on daily for artist contributions, live interviews, and digital experiments in response to the show. 

The Digital Garden
In July 2015, POSTmatter presented an exhibition with fig-2 at the ICA, London. In it, we explored shifting relationships to the natural landscape in a digital age, bringing together photography, sound, computer simulation and video works by five artists. Taking place in the gallery and online, the digital component of the exhibition is archived in this special edition of POSTmatter.
Dark Spring
In his new video project, artist Kyle Zeto explores the digital landscape, finding mystical connections between nature and technolgy
A collective writing experiment
Pushing the boundaries of online publishing, our exhibition at the ICA Studio culminated in a collaborative piece by Shama Khanna, Lawrence Lek, Fatos Ustek and Louise Benson
A never-ending virtual performance
Webchat: John Gerrard discusses working with computer simulation and challenging cinematic convention with independent curator Alex Ross
Intimate fragments of language
Live Writing: Alice Butler feels vulnerable and on show as she responds to our exhibition. Focusing on a photograph by Emma Charles, she unpicks her own performance
Minimal maps
Sam Jacob, co-founder and former director of globally acclaimed FAT Architecture, traces an unusual path across Britain's roads
Micro and Macro
Natural and artificial collide in Rachel Pimm's exploration of the visual similarities of plant cells and golf courses, forging a newly hybridised sense of scale
Flying high
Matthew Flintham's military pastoral geometries delicately reveal the underlying relationships between politics, power and the British countryside
Publishing futures
Webchat: Sophie Lovell of uncube magazine and POSTmatter’s Louise Benson discuss online publishing and digital futures
Fossils of the Future
In Conversation: Jussi Parikka journeys through deep time to break open the myths of our machines