‘Hype Cycle’ at MiArt with Steve Turner

Steve Turner, Booth D05
April 7 – 10, 2016

Hype Cycle / Buy Now

The booth for MiArt explores the hype cycle surrounding the contemporary art world and its market. How does one artist rise to the top whilst others perish into oblivion, what are the factors that determine the hype value and is this a natural occurring thing, much like how everyone all of a sudden wants a particular thing or is it a more uncanny manipulation going on? The work in the booth proposes that it’s possible, through complex artificial intelligence, to be one step ahead of the curve and recognise the trend before anyone else has, and thus create an advantage. This thematic is explored in four bodies of works and the first is:

Hype Cycle is a series of intelligent video pieces that are continuously self-updating themselves to reflect the very moments leading up to the time that they are being viewed.

Based on a set of parameters, the video pieces are searching and searching content (images, texts, videos) from a range of online sources. These are then interwoven through and mixed with already defined material. The pieces try and isolate a certain moment in a hype cycle and how hype is created around artists, dealers, gallerists, curators and collectors. Each piece focuses in on one hype cycle central the art world.

The second body of works are titled, “Early Blue Chip” and are exploring the language and the approval stamps that certain institution puts towards specific artist brands. Early Blue Chip stands as the ultimate positive qualifier, someone who will become a “real” Blue Chip brand or stock, but has not yet reached the point. The promise and prospect in the Early Blue Chip stamp is immense and naturally appealing, something that’s unheard of within the contemporary art market: a sure investment. You can’t loose.

The third body of works are a loose collection of video sculptures that examine our belief in computational systems and its efficiency, and in continuation of this, the value of algorithmic prediction for value creation. The sculptures depict old fashioned 22” LED monitors, submerged into blocks of concrete, as if someone just dropped them here, or as if they’ve been forgotten for a decade. The videos are based on computer program that tries to interact with its viewers, a simplified, stupid rather, artificial intelligence that is looking for company and questions its own existence and value.

The last work is the New Now digital paintings series, that was developed using machine learning to train a neural network on all of my artist previous works, so it’s both a way to optimise his artistic practice and also dictate what pieces he shall make next. The artificial intelligence created by the artist becomes the artist. This project speaks to the data-driven optimisation of targeted marketing and the ways in which artificial intelligence seeks to understand and manipulate our deepest impulses.

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