Nick Mauss and Ken Okiishi, Poetry as not, with singing

When 16 Apr 2015
6:30PM - 8:00PM
Where Dia: Chelsea
535 W 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011
United States
Enquiry (212) 989-5566

Opening reception for Nick Mauss and Ken Okiishi‘s Poetry as not, with singing commissioned by Dia for the Artist Web Projects series.

From 2006 to 2007 Mauss and Okiishi collaborated on One Season in Hell, an artwork titled after a web-based mistranslation of Arthur Rimbaud’s infamously untranslatable poem Une Saison en Enfer (1873). For One Season in Hell, the artists used now-outmoded word-for-word translators—better known as machine translators—to generate a fragmented version of the opus.Derived from One Season in Hell, Mauss and Okiishi’s Dia commission investigates the complexities of virtual communication and the variance of meaning in transliterated language. Rather than unraveling an authored text, however, Poetry as not, with singing positions the visitor as poetic generator in which a user’s type is translated into disjointed text and, at times, audible song. Balancing structure and abstraction, while eschewing the fluid speech of today’s statistically based translators, Poetry as not, with singing transmutes the inputted text by a set of irrational rules. The users’ actions are recorded to generate an ever-expanding epic poem, and image clusters drawn from Google trigger a visual stratum for the performative wordplay. Mauss and Okiishi worked in collaboration with Dutch programmers and designers De Gebroeders van Leeuwen to create Poetry as not, with singing.

Nick Mauss and Ken Okiishi have been working together since they met in art school at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, in 1998. Their collaborative artworks emerge from a continuous dialogue hile they simultaneously pursue individual practices. Past collaborative exhibitions include: One Season in Hell at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York (2007) and at MD 72 in Berlin (2008); A Fair to Meddling Story at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart in Germany (2007); the White Columns Annual at White Columns in New York (2012); and an exhibition at Mendes Wood DM in São Paulo (2014). Their books include One Season in Hell (New York: Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, 2007) and A Fair to Meddling Story (Zurich: JRP Ringier, 2008). One Season in Hell was reprinted in 2015 by the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne and Mousse Publishing.

Nick Mauss was born in 1980 in New York. He is a graduate of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and is currently part of the faculty at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College, in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. Recent solo exhibitions have been organized at 303 Gallery in New York (2015), Fiorruci Art Trust in London (2014), and Bergen Kunsthall in Norway (2013). He was commissioned to create a new work for Frieze Projects at Frieze London 2014 and was included in the 2012 Whitney Biennial in New York. He lives and works in New York.

Ken Okiishi was born in 1978 in Ames, Iowa. He is a graduate of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany (2014), MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts (2013), Hessel Museum of Art, Bard Center for Curatorial Studies, in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (2013), and Take Ninagawa in Tokyo (2012). He was commissioned to create a new work for Frieze Projects at Frieze London 2013 and was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial in New York. He lives and works in New York.

De Gebroeders van Leeuwen is a multidisciplinary design agency based in Utrecht and Amsterdam. For more information, visit www.studiodgvl.com.

This project is made possible in part by Dia’s Board of Trustees and Commissioning Committee: Kirk August Radke, Chair; Marguerite S. Hoffman; Fady Jameel; Jill and Peter Kraus; and Leslie and Mac McQuown. Generous support has also been provided by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency.

Photo courtesy of the organiser/s

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