18 Jan


The pioneering cyberneticist Alan Turing proposed a test for machine intelligence: if a person can’t tell the difference between the text output from a machine (or its software) and a real human, then arguably that machine could at the very least be considered a fair simulation of intelligence even if not intelligent as such. This concept may also be familiar in the form of the famous scenes of the (fictional) Voigt-Kampff test that’s administered to distinguish humans from replicants in Blade Runner.

We may be close to the Voigt-Kampff threshold for artist statements, which are notoriously full of shit. Jasper Rigoles has programmed a fairly convincing generator that takes input from a form and outputs an artist statement in international artbollocks English. About the only things missing are a few key, trite  bullshit phrases that are almost always in bad artist statements, e.g. “… works between [major art hub] and [major art hub]”.


Try it here, but please don’t ever seriously send out an artist statement that reads like anything it produces. Just don’t. Unless of course your artist statements, gallery blurbs or press releases are usually indistinguishable from something written automatically in seconds by a PHP script, and for some strange reason you think they sound OK.


Here’s the result of feeding in a rough approximation of my own history and practice into the generator:

Michael Mouse

Michael Mouse (°1973, Disneyland, United States) is an artist who works in a variety of media. By investigating language on a meta-level, Mouse presents everyday objects as well as references to texts, painting and architecture. Pompous writings and Utopian constructivist designs are juxtaposed with trivial objects. Categories are subtly reversed.

His artworks focus on the inability of communication which is used to visualise reality, the attempt of dialogue, the dissonance between form and content and the dysfunctions of language. In short, the lack of clear references are key elements in the work. With the use of appropriated materials which are borrowed from a day-to-day context, he tries to grasp language. Transformed into art, language becomes an ornament. At that moment, lots of ambiguities and indistinctnesses, which are inherent to the phenomenon, come to the surface.

His works are presented with the aim not to provide an idealistic view but to identify where light and the environment are important. The energy of a place and its emotional and spiritual vibrations are always important. By replaying the work for each exhibition and pushing the evocative power of the work a little further, he tries to focus on the activity of presenting. The character, shape or content of the presented artwork is secondary. The essential things are the momentary and the intention of presenting.

He creates situations in which everyday objects are altered or detached from their natural function. By applying specific combinations and certain manipulations, different functions and/or contexts are created. Michael Mouse currently lives and works in London.


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