IMN #3 — Norman Harman

It's Monday Night #3

Let's share some thoughts about a cryptoartist work.

Tonight, I want to talk about @NorrieHarman’s work: in a world now structured by information flows, Harman offers a rich visual exploration of noises and unavoidable transmission errors.

2/9 More precisely, he experiments with the other side information flows: the random signals that necessarily interfere with the communication signal.

3/9 This might be the reason why figures in Harman's work are all both recognizable and disfigured: it is true that noise distorts the message, but it also carries a tiny trace of it.

4/9 I would say that his analog and digital paintings produce an effect of disturbing strangeness - what Freud called in his time the uncanny.

5/9 «I will say at once that both courses lead to the same result, he writes, the «uncanny» is that class of the terrifying which leads back to something long known to us, once very familiar.»

6/9 But what seems foreign and at the same time strangely close to us here, is not a childhood repressed desire: it is the permanent but almost imperceptible malfunctioning of communication channels.

7/9 It is, in other words, the inevitable fallibility of any information system. The unconscious of the machine.

8/9 I have read somewhere that ghosts invaded cities at the time when communication devices (telegraph, radio and then television) were democratized and spread everywhere. And Harman seems to be haunted by the ghosts of the cybernetic age.

9/9 Nevertheless, the ability of data being infected by noise opens a gap for resistance: in a way, this contamination is full of virtual utopias. And Harman’s spectral presences are there to prove it.

1:37 AM (CET), Tuesday, November 16th, 2021 — Collector: embr2id