In the age of social media, Art’s value is in flux. In a world of duplication and iteration, where a narcissistic society grows ever-more preoccupied with their own image, value itself seems an uncertain concept, let alone the value of an original artwork.
Chameleon [MCMLXXXIV] is a new exhibition from artist duo OMTA that explores the value of works of art in the age of social media. Chameleon is a machine that generates a live algorithmic portrait of the viewer using information captured through cameras and recognition software. The resulting portrait is then for sale, but only for a very limited time. Once the piece goes up for sale, a countdown to the image’s destruction begins, scheduled to occur after five minutes if the viewer fails to purchase his or her portrait. As the minutes of the clock go by, the artwork’s price increases. No digital file is ever made. If purchased the image is immediately printed as an exclusive, one off artwork. And if the image is not purchased then all memory of it vanishes.
Chameleon’s aim is to raise awareness and fuel the on-going discussion of data-mining and its exploitation by governmental institutions and other stakeholders. OMTA believe that in order to reverse power relations in the use of such technologies, the first step is developing mechanisms that allows for transparency and clarity. By rendering the collected data visible, Chameleon acts as a counter surveillance system.
Chameleon [MCMLXXXIV] is an interactive multimedia exhibition that resembles a narcissistic capitalist carnival with live feed projections, information gathering devices and economic transactions. Chameleon exposes the ways in which art-market mechanisms and surveillance mechanisms are part of the same system, one which exploits power relations in order to further its own gains. Through Chameleon, aesthetics are revealed as a political tool of the market.
OMTA represents the artistic collaboration of international media artists Tal (1981) & Omer Golan (1980). OMTA has exhibited in the US and abroad including shows at ArtZond Festival of Conceptual Art in Russia; The Hive NYC Art Space, De-construkt Gallery in New York City; and a permanent display at the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem. OMTA are current contributors to university New Media Art curriculums in Hong Kong, at the University of West Sydney, Tel Aviv University, and Bezalel Academy. Among other notable collaborations, the artists have completed commissioned work for Google, Art-Link, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.