Sean Dack: A Glitch In Time

The Digital Artist's Eye-Popping Reinventions of Web Imagery

“The thing with tools and computers these days is they’re so hyper-designed,” says artist Sean Dack. “There’s no room for failure or for discovery, or for the entrance of anything that wasn’t part of the original information.” Dack is a protégé (and collaborator) of YBA Liam Gillick, whose digitally manipulated images and videos have been exhibited in places as diverse as Daniel Reich in New York and Hedi Slimane’s Dior Homme store in Shanghai (where Dack worked with Gillick on an installation for the changing room in 2005).  In his latest body of work, Dack hopes to wriggle out from under the strictures of today's too-perfect technology, using his own, custom-programmed software script to blow up, corrupt, and digitally reinvigorate images he’s found on the internet, or shot idly on his own camera. His practice is informed by his early dabblings in photography at Columbia University, where he became enthralled by the unexpected, uncontrollable effects that atmosphere, chemicals and processes had on his images. Dack’s fascination with glitch and disruption is an attempt to digitally recreate such vicissitudes—the resulting brightly colored works, stripped with pixilated, geometric blocks as if carefully pieced together, offer a vision of a partially randomized dystopia, as gleaming buildings, idyllic vistas and soft florals are shattered into a mulch of disordered digital information. Dack is just one of several artists (among them Cory Arcangel, Damien Hirst and Justin Beal) currently exhibiting at London’s 176 project space as part of Systematic, a group show in which each artist plays with the collision of natural and digital systems; he is also currently artist-in-resident at Schloss Solitude, a forest castle 15 minutes outside of Stuttgart, Germany.

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