V XXXX – something slips, passes, is transmitted, from stage to stage (2023)
An exhibition of works by Amber Frid-Jimenez
Curated by T’ai Smith
Mónica Reyes Gallery presents V XXXX – something slips, passes, is transmitted, from stage to stage, an exhibition by Amber Frid-Jimenez, curated by T’ai Smith. 2895 W 33rd Ave Vancouver, Canada, May 11 to June 10, 2023.
V XXXX is an exhibition of new works including prints and videos revolving around a limited edition artist’s book in the form of a magazine, which Amber Frid-Jimenez created in conversation with a series of generative adversarial networks, or GANs. The artist began by training a machine on a particular visual data set: 130 thousand images—representing seventy years of monthly magazine spreads, from 1950 to 2020—scraped from a globally-recognized fashion periodical; reading these patterns and trends, the machine responded, like a child learning the sounds of a new language, by mimicking the contours of its model. Like the parent-magazine, it produced image-after-image, version-after-version. V is familiar in colour, texture, and weight—glossy and reflective—but it is also strange, alien. The forms that grace each spread look vaguely corporeal, but have arms like toothpicks, bodies like blobs. Sartorial patterns are isolated and seemingly reinterpreted as Rorschach inkblots—perhaps a cicada, or a bird. What appear to be columns and rows of text resemble delicate trails of smoke nested among other creatures. The hint of human forms are mangled to abstraction, or abstracted to Otherness.
Amber Frid-Jimenez is an artist exploring the cultural mechanics of the network through installations, prints, videos, code, and artist’s books. Her recent work scrutinizes the resemblances between AI and the visual culture of fashion. She has shown internationally in exhibitions at Casco Art Institute, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Jan van Eyck, Griffin Art Projects, and Vancouver Art Gallery, where her work about AI was acquired and included in The Imitation Game: Visual Culture in the Age of Artificial Intelligence in 2022. In 2021, her series of short videos was commissioned by the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Transit as part of their inaugural public art series. Frid-Jimenez is a Canada Research Chair in Art and Design Technology at Emily Carr University, where she is the founding director of the Studio for Extensive Aesthetics, an artistic research studio at the intersection of art and computation.
T’ai Smith is Associate Professor of Art History at UBC. Author of Bauhaus Weaving Theory: From Feminine Craft to Mode of Design (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), her articles have appeared in various journals, including Art Journal, Grey Room, Leonardo, and Texte zur Kunst, ZMK (Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturforschung), and in numerous edited volumes and catalogs, most recently for the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Tate Modern (London), and Museum Brandhorst (Munich). She is currently working on two book manuscripts: Textile Media and Fashion After Capital, to be published by Bloomsbury.