David in Decay, or Making the Digital Landscape an Analog Dreamscape / Hyperallergic

David illustration by Hyperallergic

CHICAGO — Michelangelo’s Renaissance masterpiece “David” presents the idealized masculine body. Chiseled and exacted over a period of three years, this perfect man stands on his pedestal, head cocked to one side, proportionate and gorgeous in his porcelain pose. Centuries after its Renaissance birth, The David stands in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, on view for visitors. David is available on the Internet, where a digital landscape emerges from the thoughts, images, random text, and links that users generate and dump as they so desire.

The idealism engendered by David correlates to the concept behind LOSSLESS, a three-person exhibition of work by Theodore Darst, Matthew Schlagbaum, and Jordan Martins, curated by MK Meador, currently on view through May 2 at the Chicago Artists’ Coalition’s HATCH Projects Space. In this show, the three young artists explore questions that fall in line with questions of manifesting ideals, and also align with art historical moments posed by bodies such as “David”: Is it possible to make analog that which is solely digital, dreamlike, and idealized? But in this exhibition there are no bodies, and the idea of a David-like figure takes place behind the screen.

Before entering into a heady discussion of the exhibition’s analog manifestations — that is, works of art on display in the gallery — it is necessary to acknowledge two things. First, the show takes its inspiration from the term “lossless,” which refers to the idea of not losing data during the compression process. If a file is rendered “lossless,” then “every single bit of data that was originally in the file remains after the file is uncompressed. All of the information is completely restored,” according to TechTarget. “Lossy,” on the other hand, refers to a file that is altered through data loss — the JPEG image file, for example, is an image that exhibits “lossy” compression. Of course, this is concealed from the view of the casual Internet browser, who doubtfully notices much alteration in the image. This exhibition calls into question the idea that what we see may not actually be complete, instead manifesting fragmented, lossy affects, holes in an imaginary landscape that we will never detect.

Read the full review on Hyperallergic: http://hyperallergic.com/69597/david-in-decay-or-making-the-digital-landscape-an-analog-dreamscape/