Synthetic Self, a new exhibition by Argentine artist Analia Saban, is on view concurrently at Sprüth Magers and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in Los Angeles. Saban, whose work locates the increasingly porous membrane between the analog and the digital worlds, expands on themes of consumption and human sublimation in Synthetic Self. As the public’s familiarity with the analog world wanes, Saban utilizes manmade materials to construct images of a digital future. At its cybernetic core, the exhibition beats with hybridity: across location; across medium; across ideology.
At the Sprüth Magers exhibition, tapestries woven with copper and linen present images of the computer fan. A series of large scale panels, titled Flow Charts, synthesize traditional handicraft works with precise laser cutting. Encaustic-based vignettes depict imagery with deliberate mistakes, utilizing extra fingers or warped features, mimicking AI product while playing with a material sense of human specificity. The computer fan motif is also explored in the works on display at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, where historical computer graphics cards appear on sheets of paper and wood veneers, carved with a digital laser-cutting machine, sporting remnants of burnt cotton and cellulose fibers at their edges. In both galleries, the work of the manufacturer and the work of the artist aren’t just put in dialogue with one another; the two become one.
Saban’s Synthetic Self carefully investigates– but never imposes verdict upon–the uncanny as it permeates the physical world. Harmonizing material with ideal, marrying technology with its analog antecedent, Saban’s exhibition humorously provokes, enthusiastically explores, anxiously reflects, but never condemns.