A dream of unfiltered air (2021)

A dream of unfiltered air sprouted from a VR collaboration during a lockdown in 2020. It mixes the tactile experiences in domestic spaces, visual encounters in the video game worlds and digitally mediated experiences of nature. The work reflects on embodied experiences of controlled environments, assisted air supply, and contained capsuled ecosystems.
The work comprises video/AR elements A dream (HD machinima video 1’17”) and Ttttttouch it (a recorded video of AR work (1′ min) as well as textile elements and soft furnishings that provoke dust allergies or skin irritations. 


at Virtual Mixing
AP Valletta (MT)


at 
Réseaux-mondes – Centre Pompidou, Paris (FR)

(with the Wrong.org)

Photo (left)- Letta Shtohryn

Photo (right) – Centre Pompidou/Bertrand Prévost

Ritual crossover (2019)​

The work explores human non-human labour combination and its utilisation in spiritual rituals.
It looks at the service of house purification provided by healers in eastern europe and mediterranean and imagines it’s collaboration with automation. 

In this work the healers would rely on automation to perform the most repetitive task of house purification, which is drawing sacred patterns with incense within and around a building. The work imagines an eventual takeover of this spiritual job by machines. As the machines learned the rituals of humans, they would pull the information about a specific type of ceremony from the internet. Being confused by the multitude of conflicting beliefs, the machine would perform a random selection of rites. They will build a data set compiled of the cross-section of the most viewed spiritual practices in youtube while indirectly employing human content creators to perform rituals for the humans carried out by the machines.

Floor cleaning robot,
4” mobile phone; Single channel video 9 min; 
mobile speaker; incense sticks; silver cloak; broom.
Performance 15 min

Images : Elisa von Brockdorff

Video : Andrew Pace

Algorithmic Oracle (2019)


Nobody knows what the others are seeing. Algorithmically created filter bubbles split our online reality into a multiverse of experiences. Our screens provide us with a customised alternative reality, shaping our ways of perceiving the world offline. I don’t see the same content as you, but we act as if we see the same thing. Where did the reality split happen? If one looks at our customised perceptions, it seems not unlike an open-world game replayed without saving. It is a series of clicks that separate our multiverse.
Algorithmic Oracle attempts to grasp multiple realities at the same time. The clicks are being translated IRL to causal actions that create tangible outcomes. In this work, I am asking a game algorithm to create a series of what-if scenarios of an event of a house fire, letting the SIMS 3 game algorithm decide how a real-life event could have unfolded. SIMS3 used here as a way to employ a “higher” algorithmic power, an oracle machine. All the players and the set in the video are crafted to fit their real characteristics and looks. The game starts every scenario with three steps controlled by the player. After the action is completed, the game runs scenarios based on its probability algorithm without interference resulting in a multitude of outcomes.

9 single channel videos 8 min 12 sec
or a single channel composite 8 min 12 sec

 

25/04-30/04 Dream Catcher at The Box @ Phillips, New York, USA

1/05-05/05 Little Hell Gate at Frieze Art Fair, New York, USA

6/05-31/05 Algorithmic Oracle
at Vanity Projects, Miami, USA

13/09 – 27/10 Algorithmic Oracle at
Video Vortex XXIIÂ by Institute of
Network Cultures, Spazju Kreattiv, MT

Beforetheydeletethis.com

Crypto H(e)aven reincarnation

This work in a form of a website is an iteration of Cryptoheaven – Letta Shtohryn’s artistic speculation about the digital afterlife of Gerald Cotten. The second chapter of this work, Before They Delete This, is the result of a collaboration between the artist and curator Kat Zavada. Our collaborative speculation will look at Cotten through a bespoke methodological framework inspired by conspiracy theories.

more >> Crypto H(e)aven page

Woman, Holding


The work addresses the algorithmic bias of commercially available image description and image creation services. Arranged into an ambiguous form that could be interpreted as a shrine, as a memorial, or as a futuristic display, the work engages with the inherent biases of commercial facial analysis and image-description services that are trained on data sets (such as ImageNet) and explores the consequent bias that comes with those data sets. 

HD video x 2, Steel, plastic, epoxy, printed image,wax, electronics, tablets, thread, fabric.
190cm x 260cm x 60cm

Shown 
@Strangers in strange land,
curated by Unfinished art space, 
@MUZA, MT

Febr 2020 

More > here <

Another (2017)

The work is a story of a self-exile from the home world, that undergoes a process of Unworlding. The video explores one woman’s desire to escape the not-yet-dismantled patriarchal order of her native lands. Later developing into a suspicion that she was sent to the moon for her not to disturb the patriarchy. The work looks at exile, hope, utopic dreams, communal rituals of care as equipment for the journey into the unknown. 

 (This work takes Valentina Tereshkova’s image and experience outside of the context of her current political views.)


HD video : 5:48 min

Extracts above edited to 00:59 min

Archival footage from NASA, ESA, Roskosmos, Icelandic TV
 


Commissioned by
Modern Music Days, Malta 

First screened at Teatru Manoel, Valletta
Response to a score by Karl Fiorini “City of lost chances”


Shown at :

Rhythms of vision at Teatru Manoel, Valletta, (MT)
Spazju Kreattiv (DHRA), Valletta, (MT)
MuZA program (Mahalla festival), Zebbug FC, (MT)
Les  Instants Video, Friche la Belle de Mai, Marseille (FR)

Human Object (2019)

Human Object explores what differentiates humans from Artificial Intelligence at this point in AI development. Recently, some Alexa owners have become concerned with her ability to mimic active listening. What other things can AI do that we thought to be ultimately human? Must we continually reconfigure our concept of what is “human” as technology mimics human behaviour increasingly (and unnervingly) accurately? Can an AI hesitate? Can an AI change its mind? In this work I am looking at (post)soviet gym culture, Instagram fitness tutorials and YouTube trainers with perfect bodies, perfect postures and perfect performances. The humans so perfect they are almost non-human, embodying authoritarian militaristic training and discipline in the pursuit of robotic perfection to become an übermensch – a hyperhuman.
Vinyl shets 3.60 m x 2.20 m Matress foam 1.40 x 1.60 x 30 cm HD video 02:51 this extract 00:24 min

3/05 – 16/06 2019 Object, Objetc, Objecc (group show) @Spazju Kreattiv (MT)

Whatdowedonow?

Curation of the IRL pavilion @the Wrong Biennale @ Casino Notabile, MT – Dec 2019.

What Do We Do Now? pavilion explores the tension between the tangible and the digital.  This cross-realm codependency leads to an entangled existence of both, merging into a singular reality in an energy-demanding world. We look at digital relics, future digital fossils, dataflow, the body within the digital, conversations between nature and machines and a place for human-ness inside an algorithmically customised reality. The exhibition also included physical installation by FBRZ VLL. 

The works were dispersed on VR sets x2 via custom built app by Letta Shtohryn, WIFI routers x2, 8″tablets x 3, 32″monitors x 2, Raspberry Pi x1.

Offshore Bakery (2019)

The work looks at offshore schemes and the global spider-web of interconnected companies. Offshore bakery refers to an alternative reality of the Old Bakery Street in Valletta; where once were bakeries, now are offices. They appear to be regular buildings on the outside, but they are something else behind a magic protective shield. When one stands close enough and knows when and where to look, one can see them extend to incredible proportions, almost liquid, elastic, presenting the recently unveiled world of global offshore connection, shell companies and trusts. Some buildings are extraordinary, as they host thousands of companies, their invisible power is to extend endlessly on the inside. When you have crossed the protective shield, all the tenants are revealed, and you are observing the magic universe of secrecy, offshore trading and global tax evasion.

1080p video 13 min, single channel, audio : sound – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002). Video : snipped 02:22 min

Images : (bottom) Elisa von Brockdorff.  Daily Bread installation view @the Mill, Birkirkara, MT (Aug 2019)

(top) Wolfgang Thaler. Debatable Land(s) installation view. KEX, Vienna (AT) (Nov 2020). Courtesy of Fleeting Territories.

What’s the word for the sound of infinite scrolling?


The work looks at machines looking at us – looking, tracking, categorising, talking about humans behind our backs. These machines create biased data portraiture of advertisement markers that are interpreted in clusters. A gentle hover over a post by a user, causes another marker to be added. They are building memory storage of social media activity, adding words that are not known to the user but are indicators for other machines of the activity carried out. Algorithms built by humans talk to other algorithms through our tracking history, categorising, simplifying our complex selves to words that when analysed by different algorithms indicate our mental state, our concerns and our political preferences. We are the data, the 21st-century gold — gentle scrolling ads to the wealth of the machine owners. In a way, we are always at work for them.

Taking instagram advert markers from January 2018 until December 2019 from my Instagram account and exporting them to be analysed via Cambridge University’s Psychometrics Center website in equal parts, with that creating psychological profile of a person I was in slices. This research is what Cambridge Analytica based their data collecting model on. The tablets display the results of my character analysis swinging between altruism and selfishness, neuroticism and conscientiousness, displaying my moods and unconscious activity. Communicating about my character in words I also use but can not understand.  

Laser printed textile 4 m x 1.60 m ;
8″ tablets, animation vertical 20 sec, HD


Google Receipts (2019)

This work materialises online browser data via a receipt printer, finding an analogy in consumer transactions. Our browsing data is increasingly being transformed into a commodity that is bought and sold by big businesses,
instead of its original use as a record of private online activity for our own use. Our browser history is where the mind is manifested. These same inscribed manifestations are also valuable consumer data, traded for marketing and surveillance purposes. Google receipts materialises digital non privacy by printing out each line of the artist’s browser history every day for the duration of the exhibition to be
viewed by anonymous strangers – free of charge.

Receipts printer
Raspberry PI 3
Thermal paper

30 cm x 15 cm x 150 cm
(unique)

Cognitive Services (2019)


This work looks into aspects of facial recognition, of machine vision vs lens vision as different ways of seeing. Digital images reproduced by machines are translated into visuals only for our human benefit: in a world run by machines, this visual imagery would be inscribed in binary code or text. So what does a computer see?
 

In this work, images of the artist had been recognised by an online Microsoft demo and output by another demo into the text to be translated again via another algorithm into an image.  Other two images were subjected to a Microsoft azure image description and emotion detection demo. The uncontrollably and partially trained aspect of the algorithmic online demo is of interest to this work, as it has revealed its inbuilt bias.
Although a successful recognition rate can be quite high when a reference image is provided to the machine, when the same system is tasked with face detection of an image and to describe that image without human intervention, the software performs the task in a variety of flawed ways. When Amazon’s Rekognition software was
tasked to identify women, it misidentified the gender of white women 29% of the time and darker skinned women 31% of the time. If machines learn from databases that have inbuilt racial and gender stereotypical characteristics then these biases will be inherited by the machines. The stakes become higher with the gradual implementation of these biased image recognition technologies on a governmental level.
 
These themes were explored further in woman, holding (2020)
 

Aluminium print 40 x 50 cm (unique)
Aluminium print 30 x 20 cm (unique)
Aluminium print 20 x 15 cm (unique)

3/05 – 16/06 2019 Object, Objetc, Objecc (group show)
@Spazju Kreattiv (MT)

The Tension of things unsaid (2018)

 
The project is a semi-forensic analysis of psychological tension in celebrity photographs. The research spans across cases of sexual harassment, kidnappings and personal encounters (submitted online as a response to my call). The work looks at photographs of people of before one of them was accused/found out of abusing

the other. But also the work looks for imagistic traces of tension on a footballer’s face during a match that he played with a knowledge that his father was abducted at that moment.

The analysis explores a cognitive dissonance between the text and the image and follows the traces of the inner tension that are cemented over with a practiced smile to be photographed with someone with whom one shared a violent history.

The video search for the mental leftovers of the harassment looks into the scene of Transparent season 2 episode 3 filmed just after the leading actor Jeffrey Tambor harassed his co-actress Trace Lysette. The video is juxtaposed with the Lysette’s statement.

The installation creates a tangible presence of intertwined codependencies that interrupt the room is the center of it and simultaneously are such that have unwittingly to be considered when being in the space. Like a personal secret – the undisclosed is a scattered network of interconnected factors having little volume but occupying a large part of a space, whether mental or physical.

 

(50 m string, Images, Video, 2:20 min, Ikea chair, weathered rock, text)
@Listastofan, Reykjavik, IC (2018)

2079 Harbour Sounds.pdf (2017)

Part of Time’s Up exhibition. “Archived Futures Harvest ” curated by FOAM – an archive,  a miscellanea of documents and objects that have supposedly originated from the near or far future. Part speculative archive part laboratory.

The work consists of an archived log book from the year 2079. As evidence of a transformed island-society, it gives clues on the general state of society and the island, when subtly focuses on diminished crops and their lucrative trade. It’s a detective story without a clear crime scene.

(log books sheets, coffee samples)

 

Now no longer – Now not yet (2016/2019) 
(MFA degreee work)

2016/2019 (sound)
Sound : Andrew Pace

 “Now no longer – Now not yet” explores presence in time though Being-with-others. It is a joint exploration of experiences with others that grounds us to the present. It Interprets the present moment as the dash between the moment in the past and moment in the future, the moment of Now between now-no-longer and now-not-yet.

The work looks at geological phenomena for methods of presence, at earth time for perspective, at alchemical elements for experiences of mental transformation, at the chemistry of rocks for the creation of memory, and at tectonic growth for habits of letting go.


HD single channel video
09:08min
this extract 00:34 min

Photo (bottom right): Elisa von Brockdorff
Photo (top right and middle): Rocio Garcia Torres

Sound : Andrew Pace
Performers : Letta Shtohryn, Faisal Sadegh, Karlem Sivira,
Hugo Mantellato, Laura Hegarty, Antony Plasse  

ICL filming was supported by Arts Council Malta Travel Grant