art project or hoax – you decide
“Shreds, fragments and wreckage are all that remain of the current group show at the University Of Pennsylvania’s Esther Klein Gallery after an “Autonomous Intelligent Artwork” by Philadelphia artist Albo Jeavons invaded and destroyed the exhibition.”
From a press release sent out from the Klein Gallery.
the full text of the release is included after the jump.
For immediate release 12/14/05
Robotic “artwork” destroys exhibit at University of Pennsylvania gallery:
Shreds, fragments and wreckage are all that remain of the current group show at the University Of Pennsylvania’s Esther Klein Gallery after an “Autonomous Intelligent Artwork” by Philadelphia artist Albo Jeavons invaded and destroyed the exhibition. “We came in yesterday morning to check the show and found it completely obliterated” says Dan Schimmell, one of the gallery’s curators. The Klein Gallery is in the lobby of the Science Center Building on the University of Pennsylvania campus and does not have a regular attendant. The destruction went unnoticed by the lobby security guard who “heard some noises, but I’m used to weird stuff going on in there so I didn’t pay any attention”.
“We have included Albo’s artwork in past exhibits but he was not in this show” said co-curator Amy Addams “he sent us a statement the night of the destruction claiming responsibility and explaining why he did it, but we’re still kind of in shock over the whole thing” The statement from Jeavons explains how an “Autonomous Intelligent Artwork” called “The Corporation” was left in the gallery during business hours, waiting til after midnight to begin it’s destructive spree. “The artwork in question is a semi-autonomous machine pseudo-intelligence, programmed to evaluate individual artworks and determine the least-noisy, most efficient way to eliminate them. Future versions of the work will be completely autonomous; once released they will continue to work until destroyed or decommissioned, and ideally will be fueled by the materials in the artworks that they are eliminating.”
“The artwork that Albo showed here last month touched on some of the same themes, but we had no idea he was seriously contemplating this kind of action” says Addams. The communique from Jeavons goes on to explain that “We live in a world ruled by market forces, and artists need to get with the program and learn to compete on a levelled playing field. I want to succeed in the competitive Art World and that means eliminating the competition. I can’t physically eliminate other artists, but I can eliminate art work that competes with mine. “The Corporation” is loose is in the world and I have only limited control over it’s future actions. It will continue to search out and destroy work by other artists for as long as it can.” Addams and Schimell acknowledge that no trace of “The Corporation” was found in the gallery.
“We’re talking with the artists in the current show to see if they want to leave the remains of the old work in place for the remainder of the show, or bring in some new work. We’re making it clear to them that we will do what we can to protect any new work, but that there are no guarantees” said Addams.
When asked if the police had been notified about the destruction Mr Schimell replied that “Our lawyers have advised us to not make any statements about possible legal action being taken against Mr Jeavons”.