For Cut Copy Remix, artists Alis Oldfield, Rosa Francesca, and Leanne O’Connor – all from our development programme Black Hole Club – were co-commissioned alongside artist Mixed Milk to explore the creative potential of Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource. Birmingham Museums Trust is the only collection in the UK that makes all of its out-of-copyright artworks available for free under a Creative Commons Zero License (CC0). Over 3500 of these objects are now available as free digital images, with more being added every week. In April this year, the commissions were shared on social media and we are delighted to now present the works in our project space.
The new works and ongoing research respond to and reconfigures images from the Digital Image Resource. Shown at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery as a monitor work, for Vivid Projects Mixed Milk’s film Excerpt sequences hundreds of details from the BMAG collection and is presented as a large-scale, multi-channel projection across three screens. Rosa Francesca’s Unreal Histories were made with Generative Adversarial Networks using BMAG’s Digital Image Resource to generate artificial intelligence artworks. On closer inspection, these works shed their initial connection to the way that we see the world and shows how a machine can create its own visual language. Alis Oldfield’s installation Rewilding ARP(L)ANET presents a landscape referencing terrestrial fossil fungi, where the internet lies in ruin; a reference to mycelial exchange and the re-wilding proposed by the artist’s original net-based commission.
Leanne O’Connor works with the exhibition to present the workshop Pick and Mix, developed from ongoing research into Birmingham School of Arts 35mm Slide Collection. Offering a delightful hands-on opportunity to delve into a physical database, Pick and Mix raises questions about archival access and the future of analogue items within collections as digitisation becomes the norm.
Design by Keith Dodds