Saturday, February 14, 2015

By Proxy @ James Cohan Gallery

It is always good to walk into a group show and see Siebren Versteeg’s paintings, made by an algorithm with his computer. Having just seen Michael Williams at MoMA’s new painting show, Siebren’s computer kicks the shit out of Williams’ paintings. But they do say the best football prognosticators are only right 50% of the time, and throwing darts at the stock index does about as well as most brokers. So I guess it’s not surprising that a computer randomly generating paintings has got to be as good as some upper echelon abstract painters.

But even more exciting than Siebren's paintings was what appears to be a monitor he has set up that is trying to match his paintings to pictures of people on the internet or at least that's what I was led to believe by the vague title LIKE, 2014 Internet connected computer program with real-time recursive image searching output to 46" LED monitor 42 x 25 inches. It is also not an unreasonable assumption for a diptych made up of one of his computer-generated abstractions being paired with a google search on autopilot for images. Also there is a Yoko Ono in the show. I guess I was in a hurry, or really into Siebren’s work, to catch it. Oh no, wait, referencing the gallery’s web site, it was a minimalist chair and table set with a white chess set and high gaudy chair backs. I generally like Ono’s work, but often her performances are much stronger than her objects. There were also some uninspired google earth screen grabs from Jon Rafman, which I think we can all agree have grown tiresome as a practice.

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