Binary Translations (Space In Between, 2013) began as a series of computer generated prints designed to decode the digital colour spectrum. An Internet image search for "16777216" - the total number of unique RGB colours possible - led to the discovery that artist France Languérand, had already achieved a startlingly similar outcome. Given that each of these images is determined by algorithms designed to represent the entire colour spectrum, the chance of two being identical was 1 in 16,777,216. Irwin contacted Languérand and invited her to contribute her work to the show.
Whilst the artists' reasons for the same investigation were different – made in different places, and separated by several years – they represent the possibility for a digitally connected state, offering a metaphor for ideas shared within an intangible and digital 'space'. Both Cone of memory and Möbius Response were made by Irwin after the discovery of Languérand's work. Responding to the overlap between the two artists' practices from the perspective of an imagined, overarching digital connectivity, both works represent an absence, or collapsing, of time and space. The works and the topological forms they contain sum up this collapse; the things that appear to separate us no longer apply, and the past and the present meet in a kind of digitally rendered priori state.
Möbius Response, a computer generated rotating band, acts as a symbol or motif that ties the two artists' work together, objectifying the similarity of an outcome that is irrespective of the motivation. Illustrating a kind of resolute objectivity it exists only in digital space, prompting an ethereal quality that is hard to grasp.
In Cone of memory a projection scans through a Photoshop colour picker-palette of the RGB colour spectrum, projecting each pixel as a plane of solid colour. Overlaid on to the cone is a quote from French philosopher Henri-Louis Bergson's Matter and Memory:
MEMORY, LADEN WITH THE WHOLE OF THE PAST, RESPONDS TO THE APPEAL OF THE PRESENT STATE BY TWO SIMULTANEOUS MOVEMENTS, ONE OF TRANSLATION, BY WHICH IT MOVES IN ITS ENTIRETY TO MEET EXPERIENCE ... AND THE OTHER OF ROTATION UPON ITSELF, BY WHICH IT TURNS TOWARDS THE SITUATION OF THE MOMENT, PRESENTING TO IT THAT SIDE OF ITSELF WHICH MAY PROVE MOST USEFUL.
The inclusion of Bergson's quote is loaded in its relation to the digital focus of Binary Translations; bringing the past and present together in the same moment, and ignoring the sequential nature of time.
The same RGB colour values of the projection have been translated into sounds with frequencies chosen to resonate with the rest of the works in the show. This backdrop of 'noise' acts as a tool for connecting the works within the show and drawing the audience in to the sense of the inevitable; in to the possibility of an abstracted digital togetherness.
Binary Translations was reviewed by Time Out. Read the review here