Saturday, April 29, 2023


Fake Landscape HAM electronic parts on RF resistant material 21 x 30 cm 2023


The five works in this online exhibition are all created using old electronic gear from my father's HAM amateur radio stash. My father died in 2016, leaving behind copious supplies of electronic parts, a multitude of electronic gadgets, a large number of computers and computer parts, arrays of power cords, and various other gadgets and gizmos. Most of his supply has now been sold or given away, including two large aerials. I retrieved a box full of electronic gear. It's only recently that I knew what I needed to do with it! I am sure my PhD research into increasing military interest in the electromagnetic spectrum opened up the opportunity.

You might like to read TWO PAINTINGS OF MY DAD 

So, Here We Are. 

I have created these five works as whimsical critique of AI generated images, particularly fake images. These act as a kind of violence on society. This violence needs addressing. 

The materiality of the five pieces in the exhibition reminds us that AI technology also requires material components, structures and infrastructure. These all entail extractive processes, industrial manipulation, and manufacturing development. Each work is created on radio frequency resistant material, also from my father's stash. I like that the idea that resistance, presented in these analogue critiques of contemporary technology, is materially embedded in the actual works. 

I have also used some of my father's old stencils, which he would have applied to the various gadgets he made or altered. In Fake Landscape (above) I have stenciled landscape-type words as labels, for example, I chose 'RANGE', used to denote frequency range, to denote a mountain range. 'PITCH' is used to denote the pitch of the mountain. I point out that there is even a fake fence, on the bottom right. This references electronic fencing to fend off wayward drones! In War Zone (below) I have stenciled 'CAUTION' and 'CITIZENS'. Here, I am sure my reasoning is self explanatory. In War Zone the row of five brown capacitors looks like a row of people - citizens. Fake People (further below) is a crowd of 'people', perhaps a crowd in a simulated virtual reality? Maybe a virtual reality war game?

War Zone HAM electronic parts on RF resistant material 21 x 30 cm 2023

Fake Sky HAM electronic parts  on RF resistant material 21 x 30 cm 2023 

Fake Sky is an array of blue transmitters and resistors. I was thinking about simulated skies in virtual reality - meta - environments. I was also thinking of blue-sky thinking, and how technology can stimulate, but also how it standardises and homogenises processes in ways that affect human thinking and expectations.

Fake People Capacitors on RF resistant material 21 x 30 cm 2023 

Fake Dogs Capacitors on RF resistant material 21 x 30 cm 2023 

Fake Dogs continues my interest in robotic quadrupeds - I refuse to call them 'dogs'. Robotic quadrupeds are used by military, security and policing forces. Recently I have noticed that the artworld is welcoming them into exhibitions as part of curatorial programming. Here, I hope criticality prevails, but I suspect the entertainment factor will win. Every encounter and activity a robot undertakes is a training experience providing copious amounts of data for their manufacturers and other users. I have a lot more to say about this! 

My fake dogs above could be armed, but maybe they are not...

I have previously written about dogs and robotic quadrupeds. I even created an online exhibition on this BLOG called DOGS, QUADRUPEDS AND ROBOTS