Scott Benzel (night only)

Kleksografienprojektion, 2020
Video projection, generative adversarial net trained on the work of Justinus Kerner, Victor Hugo, George Sand and Hermann Rorschach

On the balcony.

Artist Statement
Justinus Kerner’s mid-late 19th C Kleksographien, ‘automatic’ drawings derived from inkblots, relied on the projection of the artist’s and viewers’ imagination onto forms ‘revealed’ in the ink.  Similar techniques were employed by the artists and writers Victor Hugo and George Sand, today considered proto-abstractionists. Kerner’s quasi-mystical interpretation of the process was superseded in the 1890’s by the psychologists Alfred Binet and Victor Henri’s ‘scientific’ interpretation, which suggested that the presence of recognizable images in the blots was the result of ‘involuntary imagination’. Hermann Rorschach, then a medical student training under Jung’s teacher, the psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler, fully operationalized the process with the creation of his inkblot test as a tool to uncover a subject’s unconscious desires and ‘projections’.

In Kleksografienprojektion, 2020, a Machine Learning model trained on the work of Kerner, Hugo, Sand, and Rorschach generates a flowing field of interpolated imagery.  Figures and images emerge and recede as a process of projection occurs both in the algorithm- a StyleGAN derivation designed to seek out relationships between images- and the human viewer watching the projected image.

Scott Benzel’s sculptures, photographs, projections, performances, and installations function both as deep investigations of cultural histories and as pieces in a coded game of chance. Benzel’s work has been shown or performed at The Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum Of Contemporary Art Los Angeles; LA><ART, Los Angeles; The MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles; The Palm Springs Art Museum; the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; and was featured in Made in LA 2012 at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Benzel has curated shows at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture (Schindler House), Los Angeles; Los Angeles Contemporary Archive; and the Welcome Inn in Eagle Rock, CA as part of Pacific Standard Time, among others. Benzel is a member of the Faculty of the School of Art at California Institute of the Arts.

StyleGAN training by Dongpu Ling Produced by Olivia Mole Thank you Asha Bukojemsky, Hailey Loman, Michael Slenske, and Warren Neidich