Voices from the Head

[caption id="attachment_2468" align="alignnone" width="577"]Self Portrait as the Center of the Universe, Kenneth Feingold. 1998-2001. Silicone, pigments, fiberglass, steel, software, electronics, puppets; digital real-time self-interactive computer animation. Image courtesy Ace Gallery.[/caption]

Ace Gallery Los Angeles presents techno-artist Kenneth Feingold

He stares. His voice is striking as he eyes me face-to-face, mano-a-mano. But he’s not human.

He’s a computer—or rather, a computer program rigged to an animatronic human head. He’s also the primary component in Kenneth Feingold’s Sinking Feeling, featured in Ace Gallery Los Angeles’ current exhibition, Kenneth Feingold: Survey.

Sinking Feeling is only one in a long line of Feingold’s pseudo-a.i., techno- inspired, humanoid simulacra, many of which are featured in the exhibition, the largest survey of the artist’s work to date.

“These heads talk with and listen to each other. They don’t ever repeat the same conversation,” explains Feingold of his portfolio. “The challenge is to give them their own personalities and quirks and interests.”

The result of Feingold’s unique process is a collection of works that provokes a questioning of our understanding of the real, how we as humans fundamentally communicate, and how meaning can sometimes be transient. The twenty-two seemingly sexually depraved characters in Eros and Thanatos at Sea emit a vocal aura that incites a reflection of the themes of tension and release.

“I address contemporary technology as yet another means we have created to talk about and represent ourselves,” Feingold proclaims.

Image: Detail of Eros & Thanatos at Sea, Kenneth Feingold. 2004. Ventriloquist puppets, fishing net, computers, electronics, 22 channel audio installation. Image courtesy Ace Gallery.