FOMO | Aug 1st - December 28th 2019

Petach Tikva Museum of Art, Israel | Curator: Nohar Ben-Asher




The work ‘FOMO’ observes collective behavior at times when digital media are no longer channels for exchanging information but are also a dominant force affecting the human soul.

A cluster of robotic agents is positioned at the center of the gallery. Each autonomous individual reacts to its neighbors’ actions; when active, the individual agent tilts from side to side, broadcasting its state to other members of the cluster. If another agent senses the nearby commotion, it is likely to join, fearing of missing out an exceptional experience. Yet, shortly after joining, the agent loses interest and continues to look for other even more phenomenal occurrences that may happen nearby. At this physical simulation, each member of the cluster forever tries to minimize its FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out.

Feeling FOMO is not uncommon at this digital age. This anxiety manifests itself in an obsessive attempt so stay connected, continuously fearing of missing out social, romantic, professional or other opportunities. This hyper-connectivity, however, further fuels feelings of isolation. The work FOMO expresses the human need for intimacy and social connection, the difficulty of being present in the moment, and the human attempt to avoid loneliness.

The work is inspired by the research field of Complex Systems, simulating a system comprised of multiple autonomous agents that affect one another without any central control. Similarly to other complex systems, such as flocks of birds or schools of fish, while each individual expresses rather simple conditioned responses, the collective phenomena of the group may be incredibly complex.


FOMO was commissioned by Petach-Tikva Museum, Israel, as part of the group exhibition ‘Deep Feeling: AI and Emotions’, curator: Nohar Ben Asher



העבודה FOMO בוחנת התנהגות קולקטיבית בעידן בו מדיה דיגיטלית אינה עוד ערוץ להעברת מידע בלבד אלא כוח בעל השפעה מהותית על נפש האדם. במיצב תריסר פרטים רובוטיים המוצבים כאשכול, זה לצד זה. כל פרט מתנהג באופן עצמאי - מתנודד באמצעות מנגנון פנימי, בתגובה לפעולות שכניו. כשפרט חש ששכניו הקרובים פועלים הוא יצטרף לפעולה, יתחיל להתנדנד מצד לצד, תוך שהוא משדר אל עבר שכניו את מצבו. כעבור זמן מה יאבד עניין ויחזור לחפש גירויים חדשים. בכך, הפרטים בסימולציה שואפים למזער את חרדת ההחמצה, ה-FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) שלהם.

המושג 'FOMO' מתאר חוויה נפוצה בעידן הדיגיטלי המבטאת חשש לפספס הזדמנויות חברתיות, רומנטיות, עסקיות או אחרות. חרדה זו מדגישה מחד רצון כפייתי לשמור על קשר רציף עם אחרים ומאידך מעצימה תחושה של בידוד חברתי. המיצב מתבונן בצורך האנושי באינטימיות ובקשר, בקושי לנכוח ברגע בעולם רווי גירויים וברצון האנושי להפיג את תחושת הבדידות.

המיצב שואב השראה מתחום המחקר של המערכות המורכבות ומהווה בעצמו מערכת המכילה מספר רב של פרטים המשפיעים זה על זה, ללא מערך פיקוד מרכזי או הכוונה חיצונית. בדומה למערכות מורכבות אחרות כדוגמת להק ציפורים או קן נמלים, על אף שהפרטים באוכלוסייה פועלים על פי התניות פשוטות, במבט-על על מערכת מסוג זה ניתן לצפות בהתנהגויות קולקטיביות מופלאות במורכבותן.

העבודה מוצגת במוזיאון פתח תקווה לאמנות, כחלק מהתערוכה הקבוצתית 'רגשות ובינה מלאכותית'. אוצרת: נוהר בן אשר.

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Output | Solo Exhibition | May 3 - September 28 2019

Galerie Charlot | Kikar Kedumim 14 Tel Aviv-Yafo
Curator: Valerie Hasson-Benillouche





OUTPUT is a showcase of machines’ products, created by Liat Segal. These outputs are the final steps of processes, at which data and concepts are fed to machines, manipulated, and finally, materialized in the physical domain.

RANDOM WALK 2.0 | 2019 In a world so overwhelmingly complex, we tend to make simplifications and view our lives as a series of logical steps and choices. ‘Random Walk’ is a mathematical process that describes random motion over time. A large painting machine visualizes computational simulations of Random Walks. A virtual agent flips a simulated coin, affecting its following steps. The complex trajectories are drawn, subjected to chance and forces defined by the algorithm.



VESSEL STREAMING | 2018 Vessel Streaming observes the human endeavor to explore and control. A location-based installation at La Rochelle, France, used geo-location data collected from online sources. Sea vessels that had passed through the port of La Rochelle were logged and mapped via a painting machine, at a process of collection and preservation of data and history.



PLATE RECORDER | 2017 Collaboration with ceramicist Roy Maayan Plate Recorder is a digital era homage to analog, connecting sound, visual and matter. Ready-made ceramic plates are used as a medium for recording sounds. A custom-built painting machine etches sound waves, creating ‘ceramic plate records’. Sounds have been collected, tagged and categorized, along with the stories underlying them, into a physical archive of being.



THIS IS NOT A TYPEWRITER | 2016 The work questions observation capacity at times of post-truth and information overload. Digital texts are transformed by a machine to visual geometric encryptions. Mechanical calligraphic brushstrokes draw the textual information using a set of coding systems. The resulting encoded images are unreadable to the human viewer but contain all the textual information summed onto ink-on-paper drawings. The inputs to the machine are computer generated texts, created by a Fake News Generator.



ORIGINALS FACTORY | 2011 A reflection on digital, mechanic and plastic approaches to art, abstraction, and originality. Paint is pumped by a machine at precise positions and slide downwards, leaving vertical marks on a large canvas. A group of words is selected as input for each painting. Each word is represented by a different color. The number of times people used each word at search-engines is retrieved by online tools and affect the amount of paint that is dropped on the canvas at different positions.







Wrote about the exhibition:

Meirav Rahat (Heb)



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Random Walk | Solo Exhibition | 2019

Artists Residence Herzliya | Jan 12 - March 9th 2019
Curator: Ran Kasmy-Ilan







Wrote about the exhibition:

Calcalist (Heb)
Uncoated Magazine (Heb)
JPost (EN)


Curator's Text:

This is a time of absolute truths: black or white, good or bad, profit or loss, one or zero. No third possibility exists. We have internalized the language of code and are now trying to apply it to every decision, every perception, every choice. We wish to present everything on a uniform scale, as if every ethical dilemma, financial plan, and culinary selection can be broken down into a single currency, an established exchange. As if we can apply the same principles to choosing a washing machine, our lifelong profession, or the values we instill in our children.

This concept of a standard measurement is, of course, an illusion. And yet, it is an important illusion. In a world so overwhelmingly complex, this concept enables us to imagine our lives as a series of logical steps and choices – lives that can be foreseen with sufficient data and processing power. As if the world was comprised of a clear set of causes and effects, and not a chaotic array starring a revolving sword of arbitrary randomness looming over our heads.

The fundamental language of binary code reigns over all. Incapable of encapsulating the human experience with all its intricacies and subtleties. However, it is its tyrannical and rigid nature that draws us to try and grasp it with both hands as our salvation. The very idea that there are no absolutely right or absolutely wrong choices, and that even if they did exist, we would be unable to make them, is too difficult to tolerate.

“Random Walk” is a mathematical process that describes random motion over time. In the very center of her new solo exhibition, artist Liat Segal has positioned a machine that makes this chaotic movement tangible with form. This installation, taking up the entire gallery space of the Herzliya Artists’ Residence, is comprised of three parts: cause, effect, and ripple.

Cause: The cause is a large metal cylinder, a raised platform positioned as an altar, at its head a stretched piece of black latex. A coin rests on the latex. An internal mechanism sucks in and then releases the latex every few seconds, allowing the coin to bounce up continuously, an eternal round of heads or tails, ad infinitum. This is a flipistical machine. It holds only two possible outcomes. Both are absolute. Neither it no you have the power to influence which outcome is presented. The tally is inevitable, involuntary, and uncontrollable. Distribution is uniform and discrete, random and repetitive. Fate tosses a coin and it spins and falls, a finality. That is the very nature of coin tossing – it eases those difficult moments when we have to decide between different possibilities and have no crucial data to rely on, or when the options have no common moral ground to compare and evaluate.

The result of each toss is recorded by the camera positioned above the cylinder. It is presented in binary values on an electronic screen, updated every few seconds. The flashing numbers provide empirical readings of the coin toss. Can this screen be trusted? That remains unclear. The screen points ahead to the other two elements of the machine.

The tossed coin is a single dollar from a series coined in 1979-1981 with the image of Susan B. Anthony, one of pioneers of the women’s rights movement. It was the first American coin to depict a woman. Never popular, its production was stopped quickly. Alongside Anthony’s profile is the famous inscription “In God We Trust”, the official American motto from 1956 onwards. On the other side, over the head of a bald eagle bearing an olive branch, is a Latin inscription: E PLURIBUS UNUM (“Out of many, one”), throughout 1872-1956 another US motto. Thus, one side of the coin tends to determinism, while the other espouses the unity formed from melding many individual identities often in contention and without the ability to tip the scales either way. Alternatively, it may be that the symbolic significance of the coin is nothing but the undersigned attempt to find a pattern, to connect the dots in the search for comprehensible meaning.

Indeed, we spend our lives endlessly seeking out patterns and adhering to rules. If some rules are still lacking, we’ll invent them. We are aware that sequences of events may transpire at random but prefer to believe in causality. Pitching our expectations into the universe in the hopes it adjusts accordingly.

Effect: The coin’s guidance activates the second component of this machine by Segal. Here, the circle at the base of the cylinder from the first element – the cause – reappears on a larger scale, now on the opposite gallery wall. Here also the circle provides a base, but now bears the weight of a cone comprised of 1,165 narrow black polyurethane bands that bursts out of it, extended tautly towards a point in the center of the space. A shining metal ring holds them, a shackle floating mid-space, an inverted vanishing point that sketches a delicate and precise three-dimensional image.

The black mass narrows down to a pinprick. The bands leave the perimeter on the wall to blend into a glowing dark form. Out of many, one. This wonder, hovering between heaven and earth, is possible thanks to constricting forces powered by two mechanical belts that pull the cone up and sideways, along with the brass weight pulling it down.

The coin tossing outcomes are translated into values, these are fed into the engine as it pulls the belts in different directions. The shackle shifts imperceivably as the belts and weights move. The cone sways slowly from side to side, its bands bunching and relaxing, reflecting the light, a vibrating shadow of thousands of diagonal lines on the wall and floor. Like a huge animal snout, its movements measured and clumsy, each made up of countless details and fragments of force. The coin toss awakens the ghost within the machine, undermining the perception that the cone is merely an inanimate object.

We attribute life to the cone because of its motion, but also thanks to the aesthetic choices made by Segal: the circular manacle, the bands so reminiscent of reins, the ropes. We associate the powers at play with some social, or interpersonal meaning. If the means to bind something are here, there must be something meant to be bound, something to discipline. Control indicates someone has surrendered.

We cannot be indifferent to what we identify as an object when it begins to move in a way that gives it the impression of life. We naturally tend to project our humanity beyond the bounds of where humanity ends. We attribute a will to lifeless objects and experience intense emotional reactions when faced with machines. This familiarity with machines works in two directions; we have been accustomed to thinking of ourselves as intelligent machines. Thinking machines. Survival machines. among the myriad metaphors of the digital age, we see our cognizance as a data processing mechanism.

Ripple: The cones motion in the space is recorded by another camera, and the shackle’s placement activates a third movement.

The circle appears again in the machine’s third component. At first, the coin and platform were raised; a small circle inside a larger one. Then the circle appeared on the wall, where it served as the base of the black-banded cone. Its diameter has expanded. Now, in the third movement, it grows yet again.

Circles are perfect, continuous. No beginning or end, no corners or angles. Every point on the circumference is equally distant from the center. The constant ratio between diameter and circumference always remaining the same (irrational). The circle’s shape is an abiding image, with examples too many to number, from tribal gathering circles, Dante’s nine circles of hell, Christian saintly halos. Circles are timeless. Divine, as befitting a symmetrical shape so flawlessly balanced. The circular space provided by Segal also carries its own ritualism. It pulls at the senses, as we prefer the ceremony over bare reality. It simplifies matters. It offers security. A promise of salvation, or at the very least – control.

The ripple, the third element, is a round metal dais. Its surface is black and glossy. Hundreds of clear cups of water, of varying sizes and shapes, are stationed atop it. They are upside down, their rims resting on the dais, each half-filled with water. Each also contains several tiny magnets. Hundreds of transparent incubators, miniscule nests with a tiny magnet nestling.

The cone’s motion causes ripples within the upside-down cups, and triggers the motion of additional, invisible magnets placed under the dais. In turn, this movement stirs the minute magnets in the cups. Called to action, they respond instantly, jumping in all directions, bouncing within the clear walls of the cup encapsulating their private universes, agitating the water and then dropping still. Awaiting the next call. A community of single units, each trapped in their individual bubbles, rattling along together, knocking against translucent, perfectly round cages. Their movements are similar, but separate. They constitute a complex system, they are a mass.

In its automatic-arbitrary autonomy, Segal’s machine has no regard for the significance of its motion, motion neither positive nor negative. Statistically speaking, the longer the coin gets tossed and the various forces remain at play, the action averages out but the variance increases: in most cases, it stays close to the average, but over time the probability of reaching the extremes rises.

Segal, an artist that began a career path in the fields of computer science and biology, translates information and complex systems into physical spaces. She deals in the questions of existence in the age of Big Data by materializing them. And when data is tangible, when we can stand beside it, study it with our own eyes, we may learn something about ourselves, about free will and the choice of this time – right now.

In her work, Segal attempts to control the uncontrollable, to regulate the arbitrary, to contain excess complexity. She is well aware how impossible this is, but nevertheless continues. And why not? Knowing something is impossible has never stopped us from wanting it. This desire is a raw substance, a catastrophe, and also life. What has been shall remain, and what was done will continue to be done. Unless we choose otherwise.



Wrote about Random Walk:
Calcalist (Hebrew)
Jerusalem Post (English)




הזמן הזה הוא זמן של אמתות מוחלטות: שחור או לבן, טוב או רע, רווח או הפסד, 1 או 0. אפשרות שלישית אינה קיימת. הפנמנו את שפת הקוד, וכעת אנו מנסים להחיל אותה על כל החלטה, כל תפישה, כל אפשרות. אנחנו מבקשים להציג את כל הדברים על סקאלה יחידה, כאילו ניתן לפרוט כל דילמה מוסרית, התחבטות פיננסית והעדפה קולינרית לערכיו של מטבע יחיד, בעל שער חליפין ידוע. כאילו ניתן לבחון באותו אופן את הבחירה במכונת הכביסה שנרכוש, במקצוע שנעסוק בו ובערכים שננחיל לילדינו.

אמת מידה יחידה כזו היא אשליה, כמובן. ואף על פי כן, היא אשליה חשובה. בעולם מורכב עד בלי שאת, היא מאפשרת לנו לדמיין את חיינו כמערך שדבר מוביל בו לדבר אחר בצורה מושכלת – כזו שנוכל לחזות, בהינתן די נתונים וכוח עיבוד. כאילו היה העולם מערך נקי של סיבות ותוצאות, לא מכלול פרוע ששרירותיות המקרה תלויה בו מעל ראשנו כחרב המתהפכת.

שפת הקוד הבסיסית, הבינארית, עריצה. היא אינה יכולה להכיל את החוויה האנושית על כל מורכבותה ודקויותיה. ובכל זאת, דווקא עריצותה וקשיחותה הן המפתות אותנו להשליך עליה את את יהבנו. המחשבה שאין בחירות נכונות או שגויות באופן מוחלט – ושגם אילו היו, לא היו לנו הכלים לקבל אותן – קשה מנשוא.

"הילוך מקרי" הוא תהליך מתמטי המתאר תנועה אקראית לאורך זמן, ובמרכז תערוכת היחיד החדשה של ליאת סגל ניצבת מכונה המנכיחה ומיישמת תנועה אקראית כזו. מיצב זה, המתפרש על שטח הגלריה של משכן האמנים כולו, נחלק לשלושה – גורם, אפקט וגל.

גורם

הגורם הוא גליל מתכתי גדול: במה מוגבהת כמזבח ובראשה מתוחה יריעת לָטֵקְס שחורה. על היריעה נח מטבע.

מנגנון פנימי שואב ומשחרר את יריעת הלטקס מדי כמה שניות, ובכך מניע אותה להטיל את המטבע ללא הרף, עץ או פלי שוב ושוב, לנצח. זו מכונה פְלִיפִּיסטית. היא מחזיקה שתי תוצאות אפשריות בלבד. שתיהן מוחלטות. אין לה ולא לנו שליטה בצד שעליו יפול המטבע. ההכרעה בלתי נמנעת, בלתי רצונית, בלתי נשלטת. התפלגות אחידה ובדידה, אקראית, חוזרת ונשנית. הגורל מוטל באוויר, מתהפך, נקבע. זה הרי טיבה של הטלת מטבע: היא מקילה עלינו להכריע בין אפשרויות שונות כאשר אין לנו נתון מכריע להסתמך עליו, ולחלופין, כאשר אין להן מידה ערכית משותפת שנוכל להיעזר בה.

התוצאה של כל הטלת מטבע נקלטת בעדשת המצלמה שמעל הגליל. היא מוצגת בערכים בינאריים על לוח תצוגה אלקטרוני, המתעדכן מדי כמה שניות. המספרים המופיעים על הלוח מספקים לנו קריאה אמפירית של הטלת המטבע. האם אפשר להסתמך עליה? לא ברור. לוח המספרים פונה הלאה משם, אל שני רכיביה האחרים של המכונה.

המטבע המוטל הוא דולר אחד מסדרה שהוטבעה בשנים 1979–1981 עם דיוקנה של סוזן ב. אנתוני, מחלוצות התנועה הפמיניסטית. זה המטבע האמריקאי הראשון שנשא את דיוקנה של אשה. הוא מעולם לא היה פופולרי, וייצורו הופסק במהרה. לצד צדודיתה של ב. אנתוני, שהניחה את יסודות התנועה למען זכות הצבעה לנשים, מופיע המשפט הידוע "In God We Trust", המוטו האמריקאי הרשמי מאז 1956. על צדו השני של המטבע, מעל ראשו של העיטם לבן–הראש שבפיו ענף זית, נמצא הכיתוב הלטיני "E PLURIBUS UNUM", ״מִתּוֹךְ רַבִּים אֶחָד״, המוטו האמריקאי הבלתי רשמי משנת 1872 ועד 1956. צדו האחד של המטבע נוטה לדטרמיניזם. האחר דוגל באחדות הנוצרת מחיבור של זהויות אינדיבידואליות רבות, שבעניינים רבים הן ודאי חלוקות זו על זו ואין להכריע ביניהן. לחלופין, ייתכן שכל המטען הסמלי שנושא המטבע אינו אלא ניסיון של הח"מ למצוא תבנית, לחבר בין הנקודות לכדי משמעות נהירה.

אנחנו הרי מחפשים תבניות ומתחקים אחר כללים בלא הרף. במקרה שלא נמצא כאלה, נמציא אותם. אנו מודעים לכך שרצף אירועים יכול להתקיים באקראי, אבל מעדיפים להאמין בחוקיות. להשליך את הציפיות שלנו על העולם ולקוות שייערך בהתאם.

אפקט

ההדרכה של המטבע מפעילה את הרכיב הבא במכונה שבנתה סגל, והעיגול המהווה את בסיס הגליל ברכיב הראשון – הגורם – חוזר בקנה מידה גדול יותר על הקיר בצדה האחר של הגלריה. העיגול שב ומשמש שם בסיס, אך הפעם הוא בסיסו של קונוס שמרכיבות 1,165 רצועות הפוליאוריטן השחורות והצרות שפורצות ממנו, נמתחות ומתנקזות לעבר נקודה במרכז החלל: טבעת מתכת מבהיקה, נזם אשר צף במרכז החלל, נקודת מגוז הוֹפְכִית המתווה מעין רישום תלת–ממדי עדין ומדויק.

הגוש השחור הולך וצר. הרצועות מתרחקות מצורת העיגול שהן מתוות על הקיר ומתאחדות לכדי מאסה כהה ומבריקה. מִתּוֹךְ רַבִּים אֶחָד. על הפלא הזה, התלוי בין שמים וארץ, פועלים כוחות המתיחה שמפעילות שתי חגורות מכניות המושכות את הקונוס מעלה ולצדדים, כמו גם משקולת פליז המושכת אותו מטה.

תוצאות הטלות המטבע מתורגמות לערכים המוזנים למנוע המושך את החגורות בכיוונים שונים. הטבעת נעה במידה מינורית בלבד תחת השפעת החגורות והמשקולת. הקונוס נע לאט מצד לצד, רצועותיו נמתחות ונרפות חליפות, מחזירות אור, צלן רוטט באלפי קווים אלכסוניים על הקיר והרצפה. כמו חוטם ענק של חיה, תנועותיו מדודות ומגושמות, כל אחת מורכבת מהמוני פרטים ושברירי כוחות. הטלת המטבע, אם כן, מעירה את רוח הרפאים שבמכונה וחותרת תחת מעמדו של הקונוס כאובייקט דומם.

אנו מייחסים חיים לקונוס בגלל תנועתו, אך גם בגלל האסתטיקה ששיוותה לו סגל: הטבעת הנחזית כנזם, הרצועות הנחזות כרתמות, החבלים. אנו מייחסים לכוחות הפועלים משמעות חברתית, בין–אישית. קשירה פירושה שיש מי שמבקש לכבול, להטיל משמעת. שליטה פירושה שיש מי שנכנע.

אנחנו לא יכולים להיות אדישים למה שאנו מזהים כאובייקט ברגע שבו הוא מתחיל לנוע באופן המשווה לו מראית עין של חיים. מטבענו אנו נוטים להשליך את אנושיותנו אל מעבר לגבולות האנושי. אנחנו מייחסים רצון לאובייקטים דוממים וחווים תגובות רגשיות עזות מול מכונות. ההזדהות שלנו עם המכונות דו–כיוונית: הורגלנו לראות גם בעצמנו מכונות מחוכמות. מכונות חשיבה. מכונות הישרדות. תחת משקל המטאפורות של עידן המחשוב, אנו רואים את הדעת שלנו עצמה כמעין מנגנון עיבוד מידע.

גל

תנועת הקונוס בחלל נקלטת בעדשת מצלמה נוספת, ומיקומה של הטבעת מפעיל את התנועה השלישית.

העיגול שב ומופיע גם ברכיב השלישי של המכונה. תחילה היו המטבע והבמה המוגבהת; עיגול קטן בתוך עיגול גדול ממנו. אחר כך הופיע העיגול על הקיר, שם שימש בסיסו של קונוס הרצועות השחורות. קוטרו גדל. כעת, במופע התנועה השלישי, הוא גדל שוב.

העיגול הוא שלמות, המשכיות. אין לו התחלה ולא סוף, לא פינות ולא צדדים. כל נקודה על המעגל שווה לאחרות במרחקה מן המרכז. היחס הקבוע בין קוטר המעגל והיקפו יעמוד תמיד על אותו מספר (אי–רציונלי). צורת העיגול היא סמל ותיק. הדוגמאות לא יימנו מרוב: מעגל ההתכנסות בתרבויות שבטיות, תשעת מעגלי הגיהינום של דנטה, הילות הקדושים הנוצרים. העיגול הוא נצחי. אלוהי, כיאה לצורה סימטרית שאין מאוזנת ממנה. גם המתווה החללי מבוסס העיגולים שמספקת לנו סגל פולחני באופיו. יש בכך דבר–מה המושך את לבנו: אנו מבכרים את הטקס על פני המציאות העירומה. הוא מפשט אותה. יש בו ביטחון. הבטחה לגאולה, ולכל הפחות, לשליטה.

הגל, הרכיב השלישי במכונה, הוא במה מתכתית עגולה. פני השטח שלה שחורים ומבהיקים. מאות כוסות מים שקופות, בגדלים שונים ובצורות שונות, מוצבות עליה. הן הפוכות, שפתותיהן נושקות למשטח הבמה, כל אחת מלאה במים כדי מחציתה. בכל יחידה כזו כמה מגנטים קטנטנים. מאות חֲמָמִיות שקופות ובכל חֲמָמִית – הַס, פֶּן תָּעִיר! – שוכן לו מגנט זעיר.

תנועתו של הקונוס מעלה אדוות במשטח הכוסות ההפוכות, ומתורגמת לתנועה של מערך מגנטים נוסף, בלתי נראה, המצוי מתחת לבמה. תנועתו קוראת את אלפי המגנטים הזעירים שבכוסות לפעולה. והם נענים מיד, קופצים תזזיתית, מתנגשים בקירות השקופים של יקומם הפרטי, מסעירים את המים סביבם ושוב דוממים. ממתינים לקריאה הבאה. קהילה של בודדים, כל אחד כלוא בבועה משלו, יחדיו הם מרצדים, יחדיו נוקשים בקירות השקופים של כלאם העגול, המושלם. פעולותיהם דומות אך נפרדות. הם מערכת מורכבת. הם המון.

האוטונומיה האוטומטית–שרירותית שמביאה בפנינו סגל אדישה למשמעות פעולתה – ואת הפעולה הזו לא ניתן להגדיר כשלילית או חיובית. מבחינה סטטיסטית, ככל שתימשך הטלת המטבע והכוחות השונים ימשיכו בפעולתם, הפעולה תתמצע, אך השונות תגדל: ברוב המקרים אמנם נישאר סמוך לממוצע, אך לאורך זמן עולה הסבירות להגיע גם לקצוות רחוקים יותר ויותר.

סגל, אמנית שמגיעה משדה מדעי המחשב והביולוגיה, מתרגמת מידע ומערכות מורכבות לכדי חללים פיזיים. היא עוסקת בשאלות קיום בעידן נְתוּנֵי עָתֵק על ידי הגשמתם בחומר. וכאשר המידע מוגשם, כאשר אנו יכולים לעמוד לידו, לבחון אותו בעיני הבשר, אנו יכולים ללמוד משהו על הזהות העצמית שלנו, על רצון חופשי ועל בחירה בזמן הזה.

בעבודותיה, סגל מנסה לשלוט בבלתי נשלט, לאלף את השרירותי, להכיל את המורכב יתר על המידה. היא מודעת היטב לחוסר האפשרות של הדבר, אך ממשיכה בשלה. ולמה לא?הידיעה שדבר כלשהו הוא בלתי אפשרי מעולם לא מנעה מאיתנו לרצות בו. הרצון הזה הוא חומר גלם, הוא אסון והוא חיים. מה שהיה הוא שיהיה, ומה שנעשה הוא שייעשה.

אם לא נחליט אחרת.

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Written In Stone | 2018

@ Printscreen Festival | Design Museum Holon




We are constantly faced with huge amounts of information, not knowing its reliability, sources or the motives behind it. We can no longer use the filters we fine-tuned over the years to tell truth from deception. At times when world leaders shamelessly provide us with 'alternative facts', the concepts of truth and falsehood are no longer binary. Our current default assumption regarding reported news is that they are fake, and even if the lie would be revealed, it will bring no real consequences.

The installation "Written In Stone" visualizes sounds taken from public records of political figures in Israel. The sound waves are painted by a large machine, using disappearing ink a, on a large rotating fake-stone surface. The speeches are written in ink that isn’t ink, on a stone that isn’t stone, and everything is bound to disappear shortly after its appearance.




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Plate Recorder | 2017

In collaboration with Roy Maayan
> Latvia International Ceramics Biennale, 2018 | Rothko Center, Daugavpils
> Jerusalem Design Week 2018 | Hansen House, Jerusalem
> Cluj Ceramics Biennale, 2017 | Muzeul de Arta Cluj-Napoca





At times of information overload, we are constantly exposed to visual, auditory, and textual inputs. Social networks and news feeds create new expression channels, yet, at the same time, challenge our ability to genuinely hear, see, and touch. Plate Recorder is a digital era homage to analog, connecting sound, visual and matter in the physical domain. Ready-made ceramic plates are used as a medium for recording sounds. A custom-built painting machine is etching sound waves, creating ‘ceramic plate records’.

The sounds have been donated by various sources and people. They have then been collected, tagged and categorized by the artists, along with the stories underlying them, into a physical archive of sound and being. 

Plate Recorder has recently been exhibited at the Jerusalem Design Week (Hansen House, Jerusalem, June 2018) and at Cluj Ceramics Biennale (Muzeul de Arta Cluj-Napoca, Cluj, October 2017). Live Plate Recording performances were at the center of the opening events of both exhibitions.

Wrote about Plate Recorder:
Nonagon
Notcot
Portfolio
.Cent
Cult











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Transformations: Co-show with Shlomi Shaban + 'Not A Typewriter'

@ Fresh Paint 9 | Tel Aviv, 2017


Transformations was commission by Fresh Paint 9 and Volvo Time
Photos by Revital Topiol

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Vessel Streaming | Solo Exhibition | Zero1 Festival | 2018

@ La Rochelle, France, March-April 2018 | Curator: Diego Jarak






The physical ocean, as well as the digital sea of information, are still unconquered frontiers. Throughout history, untouched territories ignited the imagination of humans, as they tried to tame the forces of nature and discover what is beyond grasp. The heritage of the old-days explorers is nowadays directed towards the vast digital frontlines. The exhibition, spanning along two historical locations at La Rochelle, suggests different reflections on the human endeavour to explore and control.
Complementary aspects of human control are at the heart of two installations; Control via physicality vs. power by history writing, that is, by the process of selecting and archiving data. These two echoes compose a chronicle of the attempt to control but at the same time of human fragility.

A location-based installation at Tour de la Chaîne features hundreds of drinking glasses, collected by La Rochelle’s residents, containing sea water. The glasses are positioned upside-down with their top edges on the surface, locking the water between each glass and the structure below. A concealed mechanism, made of multiple moving magnets, forms waves within the glasses. These waves and currents manifest an ephemeral representation of true data of vessel’s motion at sea. Geo-location information, collected from online sources, logs the positions of sea vessels that had passed through La Rochelle at least once during the months prior to the exhibition. This information is mapped onto the cluster of glasses.

Simultaneously, at Centre Intermondes, machine-made paintings were created based on the same information, accumulating into a digital-analog visual archive. Each painting depicts a composition of vessels’ routs along specific areas of the map, selected by the artist. In contrast to the fluid geographical representation at Tour de la Chaîne, this is a process of collection and preservation of data and history.

Vessel Streaming took place as part of ZERO1 Numeric art and Culture Festival 2018, La Rochelle, France.



Vessel Streaming is dedicated to Prof. Richard Feynman, who is an inspiration for this work and for life in general.

“When I was a junior or senior I used to eat at a certain restaurant in Boston. I went there by myself, often on successive evenings. People got to know me, and I had the same waitress all the time. I noticed that they were always in a hurry, rushing around, so one day, just for fun, I left my tip, which was usually ten cents (normal for those days), in two nickels, under two glasses: I filled each glass to the very top, dropped a nickel in, and with a card over it, turned it over so it was upside down on the table. Then I slipped out the card (no water leaks out because no air can come in ­­ the rim is too close to the table for that). I put the tip under two glasses because I knew they were always in a hurry. If the tip was a dime in one glass, the waitress, in her haste to get the table ready for the next customer, would pick up the glass, the water would spill out, and that would be the end of it. But after she does that with the first glass, what the hell is she going to do with the second one? She can't just have the nerve to lift it up now!”
- "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" by Richard P. Feynman







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THIS IS NOT A TYPEWRITER | Solo Exhibition | 2016

@ Kanya Project | PLUG-N-PLAY & EIGEN + ART LAB, Berlin

The technical term ‘Not a typewriter’ is an error code used by early days Unix operating systems to indicate an invalid input\output. Unlike the algorithm, a human observer is likely to seek patterns and meanings within an invalid input, a representation or a visual code. On the other hand, when being overflowed by massive amounts of data, how many of these inputs pass one’s attention filter, to begin with?

At the center of the exhibition stands a large painting machine, titled ‘Not a Typewriter’, drawing continuous calligraphic visual codes from digital texts. Mechanical calligraphic brushstrokes draw the textual information, creating two-dimensional geometric encryptions. The texts are mapped into visuals using mapping and coding systems created by Segal. The character sequences are first represented by numerical values (ASCII). These numbers are then mapped to coordinates according to predefined sets of rules and fed as inputs to the machine affecting its motions. The resulting encoded images are unreadable to the human viewer but contain all the textual information summed onto permanent ink-on-paper drawings that are then hanged for display.

A second machine, ‘Typewriter 2.0’, shows temporary glimpses of texts that appear and disappear in front of the observers’ eyes. The machine prints the texts using a material that reacts to UV exposure by temporarily changing its color. This machine-invoked change is ephemeral and the texts fade in seconds, allowing new texts to appear. While this machine shows the text in a readable format, one must have the patience to observe it along time in order to actually read and absorb it.

The inputs to the machines are computer-generated texts. Fake articles are created automatically via an iterative process of combinations, mutations, and manipulations of multiple online sources. These textual ‘ready-mades’ are stitched together contextually into semi-coherent articles and fed into the machines. The texts are sometimes strange and even alienating. The machines, which are the opposite of ready-made, add mechanical noise and irregularities to the resulting images. In these nonverbal glitches, the human observer may find communication and patterns too.

“This Is Not a Typewriter” was created during Axel Springer PLUG-N-PLAY artist in residence program, in collaboration with EIGEN + ART LAB Berlin, Fall 2016.

Hosted by KANYA BERLIN

Wrote about the exhibition:

WideWalls
Producer: Edie Rush




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Stone Machine | 2016

@ Art Space Tel Aviv

The Sisyphean Stone Machine repeatedly separates a pile of pebbles by their colors, from the darkest to the lightest. The machine makes a persistent effort to control and structure the un-structured. This effort may be considered pointless as it goes against the forces of nature. Despite the enduring attempt, as time goes by the stones diffuse and the order is broken.

The machine mechanically controls the movement of individual stone, separating them from the large and heavy pile, moving them along conveyors and through a sensor that detects their colors. This process is not trivial due to the variation in the stones’ sizes and shapes.

As in a biological homeostasis processes in living forms, aiming to direct chemical reactions in order to keep the living unit alive, the machine is endlessly trying to organize and control.


Stone Machine was exhibited during the event ‘Stone, Silicon’ at Art Space Tel Aviv, February, 2016.


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Attending Machine | 2015

@ Herzliya Museum, Israel | Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt


At times dominated by constant exposure to social and personal information, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) conditions our need to ‘attend’ virtually, as a statement, even more than to ‘be’ in the physical domain.

Attending Machine temporarily visualizes a feed of portraits taken from Facebook accounts. The participants have agreed to take part in a virtual Facebook event named ‘Donate your virtual identity to art’, only to be actualized within the machine.

The machine writes on a wall painted with an ultra-violate sensitive pigment. While passing over the surface, it turns on and off 96 UV LEDs in a carefully timed sequence, exposing the surface to UV and temporarily creating dots and dashes on the surface. Those are added, creating the ephemeral images.

The work questions the possibility of personal connection and intimacy on today’s digitally connected world. The Facebook platform is used as a case study from which data is collected. The attendees’ profile images are printed and fade as time passes. The portrait is no longer eternal and is based on the way the person depicted chose to represent him or herself in the social network. One by one, the images appear and fade away.

The act of printing makes each individual identity present for a moment within the masses. The ephemerality of the images poses questions: What is the point in an identity representation in the digital age and why do we so desperately want to be seen and ‘liked’ within the feed? Are we just another statistic in the virtual space? The Attending Machine aims to slow down our accelerating life stream, and to enable a technological poetic reflection on the state of being.



Attending Machine has been exhibited at
B3 Biennale, Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt, 2015
Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel, 2016
Art Fair Cologne Blooom Award 2016 Top 10 exhibition, 2017
International Cultural Industries Fair, Shenzhen, China, 2017

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People You May Know

Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2015 | Bonn Bundeskunsthalle Museum, 2016


The sound installation People You May Know consists of a collection of audio speakers hanging in the gallery space, playing monologues taken from personal Facebook profiles of the artist's friends. These sentences that she reads, using the first person form, are personal and revealing. The voice moves in space in a way which is determined by an algorithm generating the movement course in real time, creating a feeling of a speaker walking in the gallery.

The site specific installation was part of the group exhibition ‘Brief History of Humankind’, Israel Museum, curator: Tania Coen Uzzielli

The work was originally exhibited as part of the solo exhibition People You May Know at Hansen House, Jerusalem, 2014.

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Scattered Light | 2015

@ National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia

Scattered Light visualizes reflections of museum visitors on the concept of ‘freedom’. It uses a selection of videos taken from the museum’s ‘It’s Your Story’ recording booths video database, where visitors are recorded sharing their associations on ‘freedom’.



A machine rides along a 9 meter rail, printing selected sentences and frames from the video collection. The printed faces and texts fade away as time passes, pointing to temporariness and fragility.

The machine writes on a large wall painted with an ultra-violate sensitive pigment. While passing over the surface, it turns on and off 96 UV LEDs in a carefully timed sequence, exposing the surface to UV and temporarily creating dots and dashes on the surface. Those are added into texts and images. Once a visual is printed, the machine turns and prints a new one on it fading memory.

Scattered Light was commissioned by National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia (January 2015)
Curator Dr. Josh Perelman

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People You May Know | 2014

Curator Karni Barzilay | 6 Dec 2014 - 16 Jan 2015








Curator Text:

Currently, the way we consume knowledge and information about people around us has changed. Our technological reality has created a distanced from the human-personal experience, translated into algorithms, codes, shapes, and is more mediated than ever. This change enables exposure to massive amounts of varied data; it is also a tool through which to study today's human behavior. New Media theorist Lev Manovich sees the emergence of social media in the mid-2000s as an opportunity to study social and cultural processes, through the ability to read and comment on, listen and follow the opinions, ideas and feelings of hundreds of millions of people, where there is no need to ask their permission.

In the past, social and cultural studies relied on two types of data: Surface Data, which is about lots of people, and Deep Data, which deals with few individuals or small groups. The first approach was mainly used in fields and methodologies that adapted quantitative data analysis such as statistics and mathematics. The second approach was typical of humanities and used for the fields of literature, arts and history. With the rise of social media, along with the development of computational tools that can process massive amounts of data, online information has become a data base for social study, in which it is no longer necessary to choose between quantitative and qualitative methods. Today it is possible to learn from knowledge and insights created by a mass of people, which are available via internet, thus to combine the two study approaches and their underlying types of data.

Liat Segal's first solo exhibition deals with the relationship between the human and the technological, as well as the way the self is represented in social media. The exhibition consists of four installations that light up the question of a personal dimension in a technological environment and the relationship between human and mechanical behavior. Segal's works combine components and elements of mechanics, software and electronics, which are influenced by the field of software and big data analysis, her previous fields of occupation. She uses these to examine the tension between the quantitative and content-related approaches, between the general and the unique, between the masses and the individual.

The title of the exhibition – People You May Know is drawn from Facebook's suggestion to its users, to connect with other users in order to expand their circle of friends. As a rhizomatic data mechanism operating by the principle of interpersonal connections expansion, this Facebook suggestion raises questions about the types of relationships and our identity's definition within Facebook. Segal's quest for the possibility of a personal identity, personalization and intimacy to exist on the internet, has led her to use the Facebook platform as a case study as well as a field of study from which she samples data for her works.

The sound installation People You May Know consists of a collection of audio speakers hanging in the gallery space. Each playing monologues taken from personal Facebook profiles of the artist's friends. These sentences that she reads, using the first person form, are personal and revealing. Segal acts as a researcher, processing and categorizing the texts as social data in a pseudo-scientific "experiment" of profiles identities and narratives identification and appropriation. She thus creates a process of a new identity formation which is composed of multiple voices and narratives sampled from Facebook.

The voice moves in space in a way which is determined by an algorithm that chooses the movement course in real time, it creates a sense of a speaker walking in the gallery. Although the voice lacks body or identity, it does have a location in space, which is represented in the work Location 2.0 exhibited in the adjacent space. Using shining objects that are originally used as a survival rescue blanket to maintain body temperature, this work represents a mathematical graph of the voice movement in space. The objects hanging on the wall are inflated in accordance with an x and y axis system while pointing to the location of voice in space. Although she uses a mathematical model that supposedly represents the world, the model's physical expression is very much momentary, made of air.

In the installation Writing Machine, a computerized machine is drawing with a paintbrush and water on the gallery floor. Repeatedly and endlessly, the machine scribbles names taken from the artist's list of virtual friends. One by one, the names are written down and then erased (evaporated). The act of drawing makes some of the individual identities present for a moment within the masses, while revealing an additional layer to Segal's entire process in this exhibition – the destruction and reconstruction of identity representations. The mass of cylinders, installation Placeholder at the Hansen House patio presents a coded image – the well-known Facebook face icon. This image is made of a surface covered with roll shaped bodies, originally used as a cosmetics product packages, dark on one side and silver on the other. Together, they create an entire image, a sort of material translation of pixels, where in one particular moment and location of the spectator's sight, this translation consolidates into a generic face. The well-known face icon represents the moment when we join Facebook, the first step of identity construction in it. That very "determining moment" when we change this generic image into our own profile picture poses a question: Have we turned from an icon into a private person, or are we just another statistic in the virtual space?

Karni Barzilay



Wrote about the exhibition:

Haaretz
Preview

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