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The Real Fake: Simulation Technology After Photography

Curated by Rachel Clarke

Gallery 101, Lamar Dodd School of Art

Athens, Georgia, USA

August 17-September 13, 2012


Exhibition webpage


The Real Fake website


The Real-Fake: Simulation Technology After Photography
Aug 17 – Sep 13, 2012

Gregory Bennett (New Zealand), Gerhard Mantz (Germany), Claudia Hart(USA) and Zeitguised (Germany);

Curated by Rachel Clarke (UK)


The Real-Fake is an exhibition that presents the approaches employed by artists exploring artificial xyz space, the non-referenced synthetic image or object, and the specific qualities of the virtual camera that records it. Its purpose is to position 3D computer graphics in the discursive context of contemporary art. The artists in the exhibit all use 3D software to create post-photographic cinematography, and all of them self-consciously place 3D within an avant-garde lexicon. Like their predecessors, video artists who adapted TV technologies for artistic use, these artists have adopted the technology employed in 3D shooter games and feature-length Hollywood animation blockbusters, but reject entertainment industry aesthetics and content, instead applying the medium to the trajectory of art history.


Their common strategy is to isolate and define a formal language native to the virtual. These formulations are then integrated into a variety of contemporary practices emerging from the discourses of media and of representation as they have impacted on photography, experimental film, and installation-based contemporary art. Their languages arise out of the painting traditions of figuration and abstraction, and artistic movements as wide ranging as Surrealism, Constructivism and Pop Art, as well as avant-garde cinema, post-Modern image making and experimental animation.


It is rare even in the new-media art context to find artists involved in contemporary practice that are deeply invested in exploring 3D computer art. The particular burden of the artists in The Real-Fake is to break away from the constraints imposed by the domination of an extremely fast-paced military/entertainment complex, beyond the commonly adopted strategy of appropriation. The Real-Fake proposes the potential of 3D computer art as the post-photography medium currently emerging from the new technologies and Zeitgeist of the early 21st century.


For more information, visit the website:

Gregory Bennett

Utopia 1(2011), HD video with stereo sound, 10:32 minutes
Utopia 2(2012), HD video, 10 minutes


Utopia 1 and Utopia 2 are part of a series of ongoing video works that employ 3-D animation to create views of intricate digital colonies, featuring digitally generated and animated figures and environments.

A generic animated figure is employed as a building block in the creation of these works, which assemble and reassemble the replicated figure into units of performed actions, loops, and cycles, creating ongoing series of patterns of movement vocabulary situated in a range of architectural settings.

Drawing on diverse influences, including the photographic studies of Eadweard Muybridge and Étienne-Jules Marey, the 1930s Hollywood dance choreography of Busby Berkeley, video game visualizations, and a range of literary and visual conceptions of utopia and dystopia, the works embrace an unembellished digital aesthetic with regard to its image rendering.

Thematic concerns include issues such as the individual versus group dynamics, reflections on crowd behaviors (convergence and contagion theory), the ontological status of the automaton, modularity and automation in the creation and behaviors of the ‘digital multitude,’ and the exploration of the choreographic interplay between moving figure and environment, in works that can be read as simultaneously utopian and dystopian.

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