Rafaël Rozendaal presents Complex Computational Compositions at Upstream Gallery in Amsterdam. The exhibition is Rozendaal’s second solo show at the gallery, the previous being External Memory in 2014.
Rozendaal’s practice examines the spatial, sculptural and pictorial properties of the screen. His work connects painterly practices, digital animation and themes of ownership, value formation and networked communication structures. Perhaps best known for his website-artworks, he also produces physical works including sculptures, prints and tapestries, which extend facets of the internet into material forms.
Complex Computational Compositions features physical works from three of Rozendaal’s recent projects: Abstract Browsing, Haiku and Shadow Objects. The tapestries on display from the Abstract Browsing series take as their starting point a plug-in designed by the artist which renders website layouts as colourful geometric arrangements. By abstracting web layouts the plug-in draws attention to the arrangement of browser information displays. Of his use of tapestry, Rozendaal says: “The loom stood at the beginning of the industrial revolution; the punch card for mechanical looms was the first form of digital image storage. Not all output of computer art finds its manifestation on screens.”
In Shadow Objects, an algorithm and a laser are used to cut geometric shapes out of aluminium sheets. The algorithm determines the composition; its objective is the efficient use of materials. Lighting and wall positioning are important components in a work series which explores linguistics, abstract space and shading.
The Haiku series is an ongoing exploration of the traditional Japanese poetry form. The artist is interested in the relationship between the physical and abstract components of an artwork, which is emphasised by the online presentation and distribution of art. “When you scroll past a Haiku on Instagram, your concentration is very different from when you read them bundled in a book, or view them in a gallery as an isolated wall painting.” Like all the works in Complex Computational Compositions, the presentation of Haiku in the gallery space activates Rozendaal’s interest in the way abstract structures (such as language or algorithms) and physical structures (such as the gallery space) reciprocally from one another.
“Because I do not have a studio, I almost never see my physical works; in that sense they are more virtual to me than the websites that I can watch at any time. I see gallery exhibitions as an opportunity to examine the materiality of my work and to experience it with a different concentration.” – Rafaël Rozendaal, Upstream Gallery, 2016
Complex Computational Compositions runs from 3 September to 8 October 2016 at Upstream Gallery, Kloveniersburgwal 95, 1011 KB Amsterdam NL.