Extinction Hedge Avatar (King Island Brown Thornbill), 2019
Silk screen on paper
53 x 41 cm (image), 78 x 56 cm (paper)
Edition of 30 + 5 AP, signed and numbered on front
Simon Denny (*1982, New Zealand) takes critical look at the cultural impact of new technologies and the people that drive them through his sculptures, installations and videos. He appropriates material from tech culture, including its self-promotional language, internal memos, and trade show booth aesthetics, emulating the mise-en-scène of product launches and tech conferences while deconstructing their aesthetic values and testing the limits of experimental freedom in art.
Denny’s edition for Spike is a silk-screen print of a collage of 360-degree renders of a nearly extinct Tasmanian bird known as the King Island brown thornbill. The bird has only been spotted five times since 1972, and the visualisation that is the source of this proto-AR avatar – created by Blair Burke of Art Processors in Melbourne – is based on the only two images ever taken of it. Citing the notion of a “mirror world” – the emergence of a possible internet of virtual doubles – the artist imagines his silk screen as a kind of “virtual hedge against extinction” that dangles the possibility of preserving rare species through a virtual copy.
Exhibitions of his work have taken place at Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich (2022); Petzel Gallery, New York (2021); T293 Rome (2020), Galerie Buchholz (2018), OCAT, Shenzhen (2017), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2017), MoMA PS1, New York (2015), Serpentine Galleries, London (2015), and elsewhere. Simon Denny lives in Berlin.
Read an interview with Simon Denny here.