Queens Hall Digital

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A21: 1297

Neale Willis

A21: ‘1297’ a site specific work created in response to the purported 1297 burning of Hexham by William Wallace.

Let us think for a moment about a photograph.

No longer the result of a series of chemical reactions in a darkened room but an interpretation of binary data turning on and off an amount of small coloured lights. Today a photograph is only a photograph because the decoding algorithm running on a computer says it is – it could just as easily be a sound, video or 3D model if decoded that way.

The algorithm is ignorant to what the data contains, that it is data is enough.

By passing the first verse of the poem ‘The Wallace’ to a series of computer programs, a number of AI talk amongst themselves, playing a game of Chinese whispers. The algorithms reshape the data to fit their needs, ignorant of the context of the text, distorting and reshaping it into something new. A further algorithm takes this output and attempts to make sense of this new data in the form of a 3D object.

Willis is particularly interested in creating conflict between what enters the machine and what leaves it. By manipulating data to create ambiguities within the certainties of the digital realm, breeding uncertainty from the usually reassuring definite of binary data, repetition and replication take form as a rhythm giving agent to the unknowing and/or inanimate.

His work crosses a variety of mediums from sound and sculpture to image and video.

Neale Willis


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Keywords for: Neale Willis

Queen's Hall Digital, new media art, digital art, moving image, art, digital, AI, Photography, 3D, film, transcription, Digital, Algorythm