12 February 2023
New Exhibition Contemplates ‘Language as Machine’
Audiences are invited to consider the relationship between language, heritage and innovation
An exciting new exhibition by our students, alumni and faculty opens this week at our Gallery. Titled ‘Language-as-Machine’ the exhibition features works that fuse computational design and art to explore the interplay between technology, language, the evolution of human thought processes and innovation.
The exhibition opens to the public on February 13 and will run until April 8.
The futuristic exhibition is organized by The Gallery at VCUarts Qatar – which invited xLab, a collaborative and exploratory initiative at VCUarts Qatar, to put on a solo-show. xLab is founded by VCuarts Qatar faculty members Mohammad Suleiman, Levi Hammett, Haithem El-Hammali and Hind Al Saad. Looking at new forms of making and computation in the field of art and design, their aim is to go beyond the technical aspects of computation, using exploratory initiatives to research, produce and teach.
Looking at new forms of making and computation in the field of art and design, their aim is to go beyond the technical aspects of computation, using exploratory initiatives to research, produce and teach.
According to xlab, “Technology continues to shape who we are as humans and language is a big part of what makes us human. Technology has shaped how we communicate and how we speak to each other. Technology is the path, or the language, into the future.”
This relationship between technology and humanity, the pursuit for deeper meaning and connection in all aspects of the human experience is what turns computational design into an artistic practice. According to the artists, “These topics are very fundamental to who we are - it is very interesting to explore from an artistic perspective.”
The xLab group of artists hopes that a larger impact of the Language-as-Machine exhibition will be to engage the global community in dialogue about the influence of technology on culture in the modern world.
The body of work and collaborations of VCUarts Qatar students, alumni and professors, culminating in a total of nine installations are featured in this exhibition. The participating artists are Basma Hamdy, Fatima Abbas, Fatima Al Dosari, Giovanni Innella, Hala Amer, Joshua Rodenberg, Lana Abou Selo, Martin Juras, Michael Hersurd, Rab McClure, Roudah Al Sheeb, Saga Elkabbash, Sara Al-Afifi, Sara Khalid, Selma Fejzullaj and Shima Aeinehdar.
Some of the projects take a closer look at Arabic calligraphy as an artistic heritage through three lenses that look backward, inward, and finally, forward, to deconstruct the technological evolution of script and generate alternative outcomes. Others focus on the structure of language and technology and how they influence each other. Also explored in the exhibition is the preservation of linguistic heritage, with a look to the future and how language and script can be preserved while they evolve.
The public is invited to an opening reception at the Gallery on Monday February 13 at 5:30 pm, when they can meet the artists.
For further information on the exhibition, please visit The Gallery’s website at https://gallery.qatar.vcu.edu/