1 Jul - 1 Aug, 2023
Shahryar Nashat’s installation Reverse Rorschach (2023) stages the exhibition space as a real-time proxy for the artist’s emotional state through physiological variations.
Recorded by a monitoring device that the artist continuously wears throughout the duration of the presentation at LUMA Arles, his vital signs are interpreted by machine-learning algorithms and translated into images and sounds.///
Reverse Rorschach is facilitated by the text-to-image generator Imagen, which allows the evolving manifestations of Nashat’s physical and mental state to create Rorschach-like visuals. Rorschach testing was developed in 1921 by the eponymous Swiss psychiatrist to diagnose patients according to their interpretive responses to a series of abstract inkblot drawings.
By using his psychophysiological data as a compositional tool, Nashat relinquishes the work of accessing his inner state—an effort traditionally associated with the artistic process—to directly impart it to the viewer. In turn, the viewer’s interpretation of the work is partially predetermined by the standard readings associated with Rorschach’s tests, Imagen’s anthropomorphizing inclinations, as well as a rapid succession of short illustrative sound pieces.
Synced with the artist each minute of each day, Reverse Rorschach reveals further depths in the relationship between body and machine, while creating an ever-evolving, instantaneous self-portrait.
The exhibition is produced by the LUMA Arles & Google research initiative.