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Martine Syms: Neural Swamp; The Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media

Martine Syms: Neural Swamp; The Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media

Edited by Irene Calderoni and Amanda Sroka, with a contribution by Christina Sharpe

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Martine Syms’s Neural Swamp is an immersive installation that reflects the artist’s ongoing research into machine systems that erase or exploit Black bodies, voices, and narratives. This multichannel video presentation, created using AI technologies, reveals its three protagonists through their reading of a continually evolving script constructed in real time by a text-generating algorithm. Presented in an environment that combines elements of a stage set and golf course, Neural Swamp engages ideas of celebrity, sports, cinema, and surveillance to explore our complex relationship with technology, ourselves, and one another.

Essays by Irene Calderoni, Christina Sharpe, and Amanda Sroka offer in-depth analysis into this commission, placing it within the context of Syms’s body of work and a broader cultural and art historical framework. A two-part visual essay by Syms illuminates the specific approach to images and design that characterizes her practice.

Martine Syms: Neural Swamp is the second volume in a series documenting works produced for the Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media, a collaborative initiative established by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin to support the creation, acquisition, and presentation of new video, film, sound, and performance works by emerging artists.

About the Authors
Irene Calderoni is chief curator at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin. Amanda Sroka is associate curator of contemporary art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Christina Sharpe is a writer and Canada Research Chair in Black Studies in the Humanities at York University, Toronto.

Paperback with flaps
76 pages
9 × 7 in.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2022
ISBN: 9780876332979