Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow | Exhibitions | Ivan Petrokovich - Exhibits

MULTIMEDIA ART MUSEUM, MOSCOW
MUSEUM "MOSCOW HOUSE OF PHOTOGRAPHY"
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Ivan Petrokovich
Exhibits

Moscow, 5.09—25.10.2020

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AS PART OF THE XIII MOSCOW INTERNATIONAL MONTH OF PHOTOGRAPHY
«PHOTOBIENNALE – 2020»

PRESENT THE EXHIBITION

Ivan Petrokovich
Exhibits

Rodchenko Art School at MAMM

5 September 2020 — 18 October 2020

The multimedia installation ‘Exhibits’ by Ivan Petrokovich, a graduate of the Rodchenko Art School (Project Photography workshop headed by Vladislav Efimov), is based on technological singularity, a concept popular among futurologists that was developed in the 1990s. Scientists forecast that at some time in the future artificial intelligence will gain the ability to think independently and self-improve, thereby surpassing the intelligence of mankind many times over. The appearance of ‘super-intelligent’ machines inaccessible to human understanding will, in turn, mark the onset of a new ‘post-human’ era. Following this theory in his work, Petrokovich examines the problems of interrelations between man and machine at the present moment.

‘Technological singularity theorists have advanced the idea of a “hidden” version of this event,’ explains the artist. ‘The essence of this idea is that the crucial event in the “acquisition” of self-awareness by complex computer systems may occur randomly and go unnoticed by humanity. In conditions of explosive growth in the distribution, size and complexity of such systems in almost all areas and spheres of activity, it becomes practically impossible for human perception to distinguish between a technical failure, a “glitch”, and the complicated pattern of the machine’s emergent “will”.’

The subject of Petrokovich’s research is the urban environment, its facilities and communication systems. Identifying interference in the work of the city’s power supply service, the artist simultaneously raises the question of the illusory nature of boundaries between human and machine autonomy. Flickering light signals may equally appear as an accident, a banal malfunction in the lighting control system, or as coded messages whose contents and addressee are unknown by human beings. In ‘Exhibits’ the city is filled with mechanical sounds and neon light, houses with empty window sockets — all this may seem like a reference to the aesthetics of cyberpunk, but the author stays within the frame of real space rather than science fiction. The realistic aspect of what is happening paradoxically casts doubt on what the glitches discovered by the artist actually mean.

Ivan Petrokovich was born in 1991 in Ekaterinburg. He lives and works in Moscow. In 2017 he graduated from the Rodchenko Art School (Project Photography workshop headed by Vladislav Efimov). He has also studied at the International Summer School of Photography in Latvia (2019). In his works Petrokovich examines issues of the fallibility of communication methods, the fundamental instability of human existence, and their effect on the individual and collective psyche.

He has participated in group exhibitions in Russia and abroad, including the 5th Ural Industrial Biennale of Contemporary Art Main Project (Ekaterinburg, 2019); ‘Massive Reconstruction. Body. Time. Context’ (Berthold Centre, St. Petersburg, 2018); ‘I Am Not a Robot’ (Electromuseum, Moscow, 2018); ‘Connections. Contemporary Russian Photography’ (Belgrade, 2018); ‘Level 8’, diploma exhibition by Rodchenko Art School graduates (Winzavod CCA, Moscow, 2017); ‘Unofficial Language’ (Winzavod CCA, Moscow, 2016); and ‘20 Years Later’ (Metenkov House Museum of Photography, Ekaterinburg, 2014).

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