Artist: Simon Denny
Venue: Fine Arts, Sydney
Exhibition Title: Worker Cage Document Reliefs
Date: July 1 – August 8, 2020
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Fine Arts, Sydney
Fine Arts, Sydney is presenting an exhibition of new work by Simon Denny.
A patent granted to the cloud computing, e-commerce and artificial intelligence company Amazon.com in 2017 that was highlighted in a project by artificial intelligence ethics researchers in 2019 (https://anatomyof.ai) has become a motif in recent works by Simon Denny. This patent is for a ‘system and method for transporting personnel within an active workspace’, and describes a device that is essentially a cage to contain a human worker within a highly automated workplace environment. It is a stark vision of the changing relationships between humans and machines in a data-fuelled economy, speaking of the interconnectedness of a globalised world, entangled supply chains, and the interactions of objects and bodies. The image of the ‘worker’s cage’ has other resonances in a post-COVID-19 world, where interconnected single cells for remote work have been increasingly normalised and labour disruptions have accelerated.
For these new works, Denny has modelled a description of the device subject to the patent. To actualise the patent’s key illustration in three-dimensional space, he has employed the assistance of a rapid-prototyping tool which was designed to produce small 3D prints by stacking, cutting, and gluing sheets of paper in multiple layers. This rapid-prototyping tool was designed in the last decade, and was found to be commercially unviable due to its extremely time consuming and labour-intensive process. Using this tool, Denny has created paper stacks of the patent documents that describe the ‘worker’s cage’ system, into which a 3D model of the device has been embedded and carved out by the artist’s hand.
Simon Denny’s work has recently been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions including MONA – Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania; MoMA PS1, New York; Serpentine Galleries, London; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; OCAT, Shenzhen; Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels; Portikus, Frankfurt; Aspen Art Museum, Aspen; the Museum of New Zealand, Wellington; and Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch. Denny represented New Zealand at the 56th Venice Biennale, and his work has featured in large-scale thematic exhibitions including the 55th Venice Biennale, Manifesta 11, 9th Berlin Biennale, 6th Moscow Biennale, 13th Lyon Biennale, 12th Guangzhou Triennial, 8th Gwangju Biennale, 1st Brussels Biennale, Montreal Biennale, and the 16th Biennale of Sydney. Denny’s work has recently been included in curated exhibitions at institutions including Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Hessel Museum, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz; and Institute of Contemporary Art, London.
Current museum exhibitions featuring Denny’s work include Circular Flow: On the Economy of Inequality at Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel; Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI at the de Young Museum, San Francisco; Survival of the Fittest, Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen; and Art in the Age of Anxiety at Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah. Denny’s work is to be included in the forthcoming 58th October Salon/Belgrade Biennial; We Never Sleep at Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; and will be the subject of a solo exhibition at K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf.
Simon Denny lives in Berlin, and was born in Auckland in 1982.
This is the artist’s second solo exhibition with Fine Arts, Sydney.