The 21st century is perhaps best captured in the ‘bad’ infinity of the animated GIF, with its stuttering, frustrated temporality, its eerie sense of being caught in a time-trap. – Mark Fishr
We live our lives in a duality of speed and stasis. One in which our working lives seem to be ever more dominated by micro-tasks and feverish networked bureaucracies, counterpointed with a cultural gridlock akin to the frozen time of the animated gif. In neoliberal consumer capitalism the future has stalled in the pastiche of retromania. The fractured drift of the perpetual loop and the harsh regression of the gif animation with its belligerent stutter both in their own way present a new modality. This is a rupture in our understanding of time, a new paradigm, a variant ontology, and a recursive action that is unlike Hegel’s indefinite progression as indefinite reiteration.
In Bad Infinity, Pendrell and Trafford juxtapose a jarring imaginary of the underlying temporalities of the neo-liberal unconscious. Weaving together the just out-of-reach, yet that which is constructive of contemporary subjectivity; from the fantasies of data farms and psychotically impassioned global artificial intelligence structures, to the fractures ghosting through our navigation of the confederacy of phantoms stuck in time.
Pendrell and Trafford have recently exhibited work at Tate Britain (2015); Pendrell at the Barbican Gallery (2015), and has been published by Intellect and Bookworks; Trafford has written extensively for journals, artist’s books, and has a monograph forthcoming with Springer Press (2017).
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