Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shane Hope, "Your Mom Is Open Source" @ Winkleman Gallery | Opens Tomorrow

For more information, please also see this great interview by Brian Droitcour posted yesterday on Rhizome's website.

Shane Hope
Your Mom Is Open Source
June 26 - August 1, 2009
Opens Friday, June 26, 6- 8 PM

Winkleman Gallery is very pleased to present “Your Mom Is Open Source,” our first solo exhibition by New York-based artist Shane Hope. In his latest suite of Molecular Modeling prints (“Mol Mods”) and “Compile-a-Child" drawings, Hope collapses possible futures like technoprogressive child's play. Foreseeable advances in neuro-, cyber-, gene-, and nano-technologies will likely snowball our transition into “posthumans,” beings whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer unambiguously human by our current standards. Molecular manufacturing, artificial general intelligence, and life extension technologies may make possible the printing of printers, inventing inventors, as well as the expansion of ontological wiggle-room into and across novel substrates.

Asserting that art can provide key pictorial explorations into the ramifications of more precise manipulations of the smaller basic building blocks, Hope's "Mol Mods" playfully unravel the world at these scales by foreshadowing newly fantastical conflations of building and growing. Rendered and built with customized versions of user-sponsored open-source molecular visualization systems, these hyper-detailed monotypes anticipate their own actualization by way of nanofacture and picture junk sculptures, seashell crafts, among other molecularly doodled composited chimeras each developing from an embryonic stage; animals fashioned from flowchart cells woven into food webs connected by arrows that hitherto indicated the folds and twists of proteins; carbon nanotube moths flapping amidst balloon animal monkey molecules and less definitive evolutures with buckyballs in their eyes.

Hope also traces technological trajectories through his "Compile-a-Child” drawings, which appear as grade-school, diaristic musings of forecasted artificially selected mind-children. These speculative anecdotal vignettes include child instantiations restored from backup; “builtday” party activity lists; getting grounded as a singleton; uplifting sub-sentient life forms and not-quite-so-living things as domesticated pets; and saving money to afford the xmit rights to resurrect relatives. As in our present time, Hope's imagined offspring from the future command an unmistakable candor through which prescient peek-a-boos into all-powerful playpens innocently showcase our forthcoming world of transhumanity.

Keywords: Technoprogressivism, Transhumanism, H+ (Humanity Plus), Posthuman, Singularitarianism, Technological Singularity, Futurology, Human Enhancement Technologies (HET), Immortalism, Life Extension Technologies, Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS), Emerging Technologies, Converging Technologies, Uploaded Consciousnesses, Simulation Hypothesis, Self-Improving Friendly AI, AGI (Artificial General Intelligence), Superintelligence, Exocortex, Molecular Manufacturing, Nanofacture, Molecular Nanotechnology, Molecular Machines, Molecular Assembly, Synthetic Biology, Open Source, Post-Scarcity, Computronium, Wearable Computing, Transsubstrational, Afterlife Backdoors, Deathcubes, Augmentally Challenged, Speculativernacular, Fabbers, Fungible Infomorphs, Exprisonment, Spawning, Forking, Meatbodies, Nanoblockonomics, Chronomordant, Biots, Splines, Collablobject-Oriented, Infacteous, Data-Debased, graviTV, Infophagy, Syncthetic, Spinfrastructure, Compile-A-Child, 'Zymes, Turingosity, JunkDNAnarc-Keys, Got-Watt-a-Lot-Bots, Perv'd Plexus, Kilo-IQ, and Morphogenetic Commons.

Shane Hope received his MFA from the University of California San Diego in 2002 and has attended the University of California Los Angeles, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He has exhibited at Virgil de Voldere Gallery in New York; Project Gentili, in Prato, Italy; iMAL (interactive Media Art Laboratory) in Brussels, Belgium, Rosamund Felson Gallery in Los Angeles and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Hope's work is also currently featured in the 2009 Prague Biennale.

For more information, please contact Edward Winkleman at 212.643.3152 or

Image above: Shane Hope, On Graphite (detail), 2009, archival pigment print, 48" x 48"

Labels: gallery artists exhibitions


Blogger marie said...


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6/25/2009 08:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you lost me at

may make possible the printing of printers, inventing inventors

what does that mean?

6/25/2009 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

The easiest way to think about that particular speculation---and all of this is speculative at this point, although there's debate on how likley any of this technology is and how soon we might see it---is the Star Trek food replicator. You remember, the microwave-oven-looking station at which you told the computer to give you "Darjeeling Tea and some Oreos," and within seconds that food was "manufactured" for you?

That food replicator supposedly "built" that food by assembling the molecules needed to present it to you.

With molecular manufacturing [this is a good source for more info on the current state of it], that is, being able to build something from the molecules on up, you could reach the point at which you could manufacture a "printer" (such as a food replicator) that can produce a copy of itself.

The societal implications of such a possibility include that once you have that (replicators that can replicate anything, including themselves), there is no need for humans to ever manufacture anything themselves again.

6/25/2009 11:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would these replicators also replicate humans? Because then we wouldn't need to do it ourselves.

6/25/2009 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Ivin Ballen said...

This show looks awesome. I'm really looking forward to looking forward to the future. Congratulations Shane!

6/25/2009 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Would these replicators also replicate humans?

Not sure. I think the current thinking is that replicating lifeforms (inventing inventors) takes another approach. You will supposedly be able to "compile a child" through genetic manipulation (targeting the genes that are more likely to make that eventual person creative or want to be an inventor), but I don't think lifeforms can be ordered up at a certain age/stage...they'll still need to be "grown."

But who knows? We would certainly still want to "do it ourselves," I imagine.

6/25/2009 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger joy said...

food replicators, yum! Rudy Rucker anyone?


6/25/2009 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Not in our lifetime.

Geez, they can't cure Aids or cancer - nothing to it when compared with making a designer baby.

6/25/2009 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Another dream, nuclear fusion, as the ultimate source of power. The wizards have been working on this since the 60's, we're closer but no cigar.

Things take longer than we think, the future looks a lot like the present - but taller and shinier

6/25/2009 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger markcreegan said...

Wonderful play with words and concepts! And I feel much more able to comprehend since I just finished watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos series on Netflix (highly recommend!)

The prevalent conceptualization of the future seems to be a continued externalizing of human consciousness, the storing and compiling of human intelligence outside of our brains, a process that began in full force once books and libraries arrived. Perhaps this trend could reverse itself as well. What if technology enhanced brain capacities rather than augment exteriorally?

But i do think there was a recent National Science Foundation study that deflated nanotechnology a bit, saying "nano" is sort of a buzz word without much practical weight. But I also heard great gains have been made in using this technology to clean and desalinate water, which could greatly improve conditions in 3rd world countries and assist everyone as our water crisis persists and worsens.

Inquiring minds ova here!

6/25/2009 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger Tibi said...

Seems like a really intriguing show, wish I'd be living in NYC to see it. I have a couple of questions/comments:

* what are these "user-sponsored open-source molecular visualization systems"? Would it be possible to post some links? Maybe it's my engineering background, but I'm not sure I get the "user-sponsored" aspect of "open-source" systems - did he ask around for pointers to open-source molecular visualization systems? Open-source systems are (frequently) developed by users, so that phrase sounds somewhat redundant.

* you're talking about "hyper-detailed monotypes" -- monotypes have a specific meaning in printmaking, but all the print images on the show page fall more under the category of digital prints, at least based on their description. Does "monotype" have a different meaning here for the artist?

I also wanted to thank you for your blogging, I've been reading this blog for a long time, but this is my first time posting.

6/25/2009 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger tony said...

Reading the above & beyond has helped to confirm what I have suspected for a long time : Reason is a less extreme form of madness.

6/26/2009 04:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

As I mentioned a big while ago (we did talk about similar topics before we heard of this IMM), the Mona Lisa painting is pretty much computerly registered nowadays in every of its layers of particules(like with a medical body scan), and we are not far from being able to press a button and replicate a perfect simulacra of it.

Post-Scarcity is absolutely something we should thrive forward to, but I understand why the artworld would be against that. Scarcity is just the biggest problem of this world (beginning with bottled water).

Peoples' idea of economy has been for a long time about what one can gain for themselves above others.
Tomorrow you can have everything, and deliver it in BitTorrent (say, Food Bitorrent), and everybody in the world can eat as much food as you're having (I'm Bandung drink at the moment). Everybody gets potentially, conceptually "rich", and perhaps like in the Gilbert and Sullivan song "There Lived A King" (from The Gondoliers), that would only result in the price of "shoddy going up", but I'm ready to test that out very empirically before complaining.

As far as health is concerned, I was pretty convinced by the "Rip Manifesto" movie that we're not advancing fast because scientists are not willing to bring all their patents together (the Patent Bit Torrent) in a melting pot of scientifical exchange, which is why some guy isn't allowed to try a test with something another guy patented. That's in medicine, do you hear this? We are wasting years of cancer research for people who prefer to let things remain scarce.

Cedric Caspesyan

6/26/2009 04:41:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Thanks for your questions Tibi....I'll attempt to answer the ones I can.

what are these "user-sponsored open-source molecular visualization systems"?

There are several that Shane uses in creating his Molecular Modeling prints (although he writes his own scripts to enhance them), including PyMol.

"hyper-detailed monotypes"

Shane's taking a bit of poetic license with that term to underscore the irony of the fact that his work dealing with, among other topics, cloning and other replication technologies, is offered as a unique archival pigment print (i.e., they are not editioned).

6/26/2009 09:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

Do artists consider that the version most seen of their art is the digital photograph? I think about that all the time. What does that mean when only 10 people saw the real work but 10 000 saw the JPEG? Should an artist move to making JPEG?

Cedric C

6/26/2009 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Hering said...

Cedric C, it isn't necessary to go digital. Until I was 25, the only art I ever saw was in reproduction, and as a result, I've always been careful to keep my handmade art reproduction-friendly. (I learned HOW to do that in my occasional commercial design work.) Indeed, I consider those who will only see my work in reproduction to be my target audience.

6/28/2009 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger tony said...

Cedric Caspesyan said...

What does that mean when only 10 people saw the real work but 10 000 saw the JPEG?

I think the importance lies not in the quantity but the word 'real'. To look at a JPEG of a Rothko, Newman, Kelly, Reinhardt conveys very little against seeing the actual, & for me that goes for the work of almost all painters.

6/29/2009 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Hering said...

tony, I agree with what you say about most paintings. For the viewer there's a presence - an interaction with physicality - a wealth of effects that can't be conveyed by reproductions. Which is as it's meant to be.

Nonetheless, as I said, reproductions were my only experience of art for the first quarter-century of my life. And I mean MASS reproductions (art books, posters and magazines), not limited edition prints produced under an artist's control. Which later made me wonder: MUST the experience of mass reproductions be an experience that's second best? (It was a real experience of art for me.) What if my originals were MADE to be experienced in mass reproduction? (Though I'm a non-digital 2D artist, I'm not a painter.) Could that be a genuine experience of art for others, as it was for me? (Perhaps even more genuine, because there's deliberately little about my originals that can't be experienced in mass reproduction.)

On the commercial side (at the end of this year of studio work): I plan to put put the highest quality JPEGs of my originals on the web - to be printed and kept by individuals, or printed and sold by anyone who wants to sell them - for free. (The rights to my images will remain with me, of course - I won't sign them over to anyone.) Later - if my work gains any kind of following - I'll offer the originals for sale on the web, or through a dealer (knowing that originals are always valued).

That's a commercial model that one Russian writer used. His novel was repeatedly rejected by publishers, so he put the whole book up on the web for free. It gained a following as an ebook, was then picked up by a publisher as a result, and became a retail bestseller.

Does any of this parallel your own thoughts, Cedric C?

6/29/2009 11:31:00 AM  

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