Martine Syms: Neural Swamp

The Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media

Edited by Irene Calderoni and Amanda Sroka; With an essay by Christina Sharpe

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New commissioned work by an important American contemporary artist using a multidisciplinary approach to examine issues of race and identity

Produced for the Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media by the multidisciplinary artist Martine Syms (b. 1988), Neural Swamp is an immersive video installation that builds upon Syms’s interest in the proliferation, circulation, and consumption of images, as well as her continued research into machine systems that erase or make invisible Black bodies, voices, and narratives. The publication documents this new work, offering in-depth analysis and a visual essay that reflects the specific approach to images and text characterizing Syms’s practice. Neural Swamp’s multichannel presentation reveals its characters through their reading of a continually changing script, the variations determined by a text-generating model. Through these dynamic interactions, along with the installation’s physical elements, Syms creates a kaleidoscopic view of the world and our complex relationship with one another and with technology.

Irene Calderoni is curator at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin. Amanda Sroka is assistant 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.


Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin
(September 2021–January 2022)

Philadelphia Museum of Art
(Spring 2022)

ISBN: 9780876332979
Publication Date: May 3, 2022
Publishing Partner: Published in association with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo
80 pages, 7 x 9
50 color illus.
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