Throughout the gallery, large LED screens will present images which began in the mind of a human. The brain activity is captured as a person imagines a specific situation that the subject has been prompted to think of. One by one, each thought is reconstructed by a deep neural network and the images created are exhibited in the gallery, where they will be in a constant process of reconstruction, endlessly modified by external factors – light, temperature and humidity levels, the presence of insects, and the gaze of visitors.
The Serpentine Gallery building will be subtly altered, affecting the conditions of the exhibition’s environment. Sanding the walls, dust from the paint of previous exhibitions will lie on the floor. The central gallery, transformed into an incubator, will birth thousands of flies that migrate towards the centre of the dome.
Born in Paris in 1962 and based in New York, Pierre Huyghe works on situations that are often based on speculative models. The environments he creates are complex systems in which interdependent agents, biotic and abiotic, real and symbolic, are self-organising, co-evolving in a dynamic and unstable mesh. Crucially, the different modes of existence and intelligence involved are often imperceptible to the visitors who encounter them. This new exhibition for the Serpentine follows Huyghe’s recent acclaimed projects, including After ALife Ahead for Skulptur Projekte Münster, 2017; Untilled at dOCUMENTA(13), 2012; and The Host and the Cloud in 2010.
‘When what is made is not necessarily due to the artist as the only operator, the only one generating intentions and that instead it’s an ensemble of intelligences, of entities biotic or abiotic, beyond human reach, and that the present situation has no duration, is not addressed to anyone, is indifferent, at that moment perhaps the ritual of the exhibition can self-present.’ Pierre Huyghe in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist, 2018
‘[Huyghe] is not interested in creating fictions, but new realities; the realities he has created have proved unsettlingly visionary.’ ArtReview