June 7, 2018

Sven Anderson & Gerard Byrne
A Visibility Matrix
The Artist's Eye: Juan Downey

The Douglas Hyde Gallery

(1) Sven Anderson & Gerard Byrne, A Visibility Matrix. Production image. Courtesy of the artists. (2) Juan Downey, Moving (1974), still image. Courtesy of the Estate of Juan Downey.

A Visibility Matrix
Sven Anderson and Gerard Byrne

"There is now an expectation of visibility, from any place, at any time and by anyone."
–Sven Anderson & Gerard Byrne

Initiated by Dublin-based artists and long-term collaborators, Sven Anderson and Gerard Byrne, A Visibility Matrix assembles contributions from a distributed panel of artists, film-makers and others within a synchronised, multi-channel video installation that will be presented for the first time at the Douglas Hyde Gallery.

A Visibility Matrix unfolds as a response to the ambitions of abandoned art and technology projects from the 1960s–1980s that prioritised multiscreen video projection, monitor arrays and communications networks. These projects explored visual excess and hyperstimulation prior to the development of the Internet, and before multi-screen video displays became common in everyday life. Considered now, these experiments in perception and communication simultaneously prophesise and bypass the homogenised conditions that have come to be accepted as network culture.

Exploring the paradigms of what we see and how we construct visual knowledge, A Visibility Matrix returns to the instincts of these projects. It proposes a condensed counterpoint to the migratory, hyper-networked nature of visibility in contemporary culture by conjuring an offline matrix of video material presented in the gallery space for communal observation. The artwork speculates on an alternative to the composite formed by subject + smartphone + online-video-sharing-platform that has come to represent the current standard of visibility. By shifting focus from the production of images for sharing online to their reception in a shared, fixed-time spatial context, A Visibility Matrix offers another window on visual excess, confronting its own situated spatiality in order to reflect the more universal conditions that it addresses.

The extended-duration sequences that surface through the artwork are assembled from video material aggregated from a network of collaborators including:

Dan & Marie Law Adams Rosa Aiello Matt Bakkom Rosa Barba Eric Baudelaire Beat Detectives John Beattie Ericka Beckman Maeve Brennan Andreas Bunte Duncan Campbell Jonas Dahlberg Matija Debeljuh Dennis Del Favero Willie Doherty Jeanette Doyle Moritz Fehr Diego Ferrari Darko Fritz Rene Gabri & Ayreen Anastas Mariam Ghani & Chitra Ganesh Ross Gibson Judith Goddard Igor Grubic Jennie Guy Louis Haugh Kathy High Klara Hobza Jere Ikongio & Katja Kellerer Ivan Marusic Klif John Lalor Charles Lim Jeanne Liotta Lovid Hrvoje Mabic Nicholas Mangan Fiona Marron Ed Mattiuzzi Peter Maybury Ronan McCrea Conor McGarrigle Toni Mestrovic Abinadi Meza Suzanne Mooney Mosireen Nadija Mustapic Rosalind Nashisibi Arnont Nongyao Tadhg O'Sullivan Dietmar Offenhuber Jack Phelan Piyarat Piyapongwiwat Jason Quinlan Eugenia Raskopoulos Lucy Raven Ben Rivers Karl Ingar Røys Adam Sekuler Craig Smith Michael Bell Smith Sean Snyder Stephanie Spray Danae Stratou Daniel Von Sturmer Jose Carlos Teixeira Leslie Thornton Gabriele Trapani Sara Velas Clemens von Wedemeyer Grace Weir Jeremy Welsh Krzysztof Wodiczko Tintin Wulia

This material was gathered, filtered and annotated working with editorial collaborators Matt Bakkom, Victoria Brooks, Moritz Fehr, Igor Grubic, Dan Kidner, Nikos Papastergiadis and Oraib Toukan, and assembled with support from Louis Haugh and Fiona Marron.

A Visibility Matrix will continue to evolve as it moves from space to space, at Le Printemps de Septembre Festival in Toulouse in September 2018 and Void Gallery in Derry in January 2019.

This project is supported through the Arts Council’s Making Great Art Work—Open Call 2016, an initiative which funds ambitious, one-off artistic projects by some of Ireland’s best artists and arts organisations.

The Artist’s Eye: Juan Downey
The Artist’s Eye series asks those exhibiting in Gallery 1 to invite an artist of significant influence to present work in Gallery 2. In the third instalment in this series, Anderson and Byrne have selected Moving (1974) by Juan Downey (1940–93). Moving is an early tape made as part of a key work from Downey’s catalogue, Video Trans Américas. A series of tapes and installations, the project is the outcome of journeys made by the artist through North and South America in the 1970s. Starting in Cambridge, New York, he visited and made recordings with indigenous people in various locations including Bolivia, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru, using a Sony Portapak, a battery powered recording system that made amateur video-making much more widely accessible in the mid 60s.

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The Douglas Hyde Gallery was co-founded in 1978 by the Arts Council of Ireland and Trinity College Dublin, as both the first public gallery dedicated to contemporary art and the first university gallery in Ireland.

The Douglas Hyde Gallery is jointly supported by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and Trinity College Dublin.

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