Untitled Art Fair Miami 23
Rudolfo Quintas
[06/12/23 - 10/12/23]

For its first participation to Untitled Art fair, Foco Gallery is pleased to present Reading Against The Grain, a solo presentation by Portuguese artist Rudolfo Quintas. Quintas has been actively experimenting with digital media art pushing an interdisciplinary practice. As examples his collaboration with Harvard Medical School in Boston for the “Absorption” interactive media sculpture or the “Burning the Sound” performance edited by New Museum New York and awarded by Transmediale festival in Berlin. Quintas is deeply engaged in the international art scene and the conversation politically and artistically regarding the future of information and its consequences for life and aesthetics.

In the continuation of his last solo show at Foco Gallery (November-December 2022), the artist is presenting in Miami his artistic investigation scrutinizing the impact of media and social network on mental health. This relationship is speculated through a body of work consisting of AI data paintings, drawings and sculptures created with algorithms that read news and works that invent their own news, translating, expressing and delivering visual narratives of complex intangible systems.

Quintas has been developing a study about information overload, sometimes incorrect and on information that distorts the truth, influencing public opinion and social behavior and its relationship with the impact on mental health since (2018). The research has been based on large-scale data collection from social media, social networks and written communication systems by artificial intelligence.

This process of work has originated digital artworks such as News Feed (2019) – an installation that analyses the sentiment of news stories published from several newspapers around the world and digitally paints according positive or negative sentiment; or Keystones I,II,III,IV (2019) presented at the MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art Lisbon and Portugal In The Clouds (2021) generative artificial intelligence artworks that write their own ideas base on what they learn from society through social media.

The artist explores this link with science, either by translating semantic information into sentiment to reveal the emotional charge of news, or developing works that deliberately distort the truth. These mappings express large-scale representations of society that are incomprehensible and invisible to our perception.

Humans are moving at great speed from a period in which we use systems to operate information, to a phase in which systems read and operate us. This transition puts us in a constant performative mode, reducing our time to reflect on the past and memory as foundations for the future. In Reading Against The Grain, a new set of generative and software artworks are presented in interconnection with other physical pieces, in which databases, datasets and information flows obtain a tangible and emotional reading, establishing a dialogue between performativity and memory.

The exhibition’s title is borrowed from the technique that suggests that reading in countercurrent is an alternative and resistant mode of understanding a given text, examining beliefs and attitudes that are not usually evident, drawing attention
to gaps, emotional bias, and contradictions. In this exhibition, the artworks were created from a countercurrent and resistant analysis of the source data, such as translation and expressing the sentiment of news stories into emotional mapping images. That is a forensic approach to information to debate the responsibility of media and platforms on our mental health.