Art group Random International runs a collaborative studio for experimental practice within contemporary art. Founded in 2005 by Hannes Koch and Florian Ortkrass, they now work with a larger team of diverse and complementary talent out of studios in London and Berlin.
Questioning aspects of identity and autonomy in the post-digital age, the group’s work invites active participation, exploring the human condition in an increasingly mechanized world through emotional yet physically intense experiences. The artists aim to prototype possible behavioral environments by experimenting with different notions of consciousness, perception and instinct.
Their work Rain Room is in the collection of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and has been exhibited under the museum’s historic Art and Technology initiative. It has also been shown at London's Barbican (2012); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013); and Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2015/2018). An edition of Rain Room has become the first permanently installed artwork at the Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE (2018), and is housed in its own building.
Solo exhibitions of their work have been held at Lunds konsthall, Sweden (2014) and Yuz Musuem, Shanghai (2018). Their work is held in the collections of MoMA, Sharjah Art Foundation, Yuz Museum, LACMA and V&A, where theirSwarm Study / IIIis on long-term display.
New York— Pace Gallery is pleased to present On the Body, the gallery’s first solo exhibition of works by the artist collective Random International. On view from September 23 through October 22, 2016 at 537 West 24th Street, On the Body is the first presentation of new works by Random International in New York since The Museum of Modern Art hosted Rain Room in 2013. These works of art explore how we perceive and process visual information, especially as it relates to the human form and our own reflection. A public opening reception will be held at 537 West 24th Street on Thursday, September 22, from 6 to 8 p.m.
On the Body reveals the latest works created by Random International, here exhibited together for the first time. This experimental body of work offers physical manifestations of the relationships between humanity and machines through a diverse visual, material and technological vocabulary. Self and Other (2016) is a sculpture of large, evenly spaced glass sheets embedded with a grid of LED lights. The piece reacts to human presence by reflecting the onlooker’s full length, three-dimensional form in light, but with a slight delay. Evolving from the scenography Random International created for Wayne McGregor’s 2010 contemporary dance production FAR, Small Study / I (FAR) distorts its own surface through moving light and falling shadow. Blur Mirror (2016) and Fragments / I (2016) are both made of numerous mirrored squares arranged to form larger, framed mirrors. Questioning how we see ourselves, these mechanized mirrors react to human presence in unexpected ways.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is the first public display of Fifteen Points / I (2016), a human-scale sculpture made up of industrial robotic arms that move simultaneously, each one mounted with a single LED light. Despite the undisguised mechanical principle, through the accuracy of their motion, these points of light align to create the perceived form of an animated being walking through space. Fifteen Points is the result of Random International’s ongoing research into motion, representation, perception, and the borders between animate and mechanical movement. This kinetic sculpture was produced following the collective’s residency at the biomimetic robotics division of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, facilitated by Le Laboratoire. This sculpture and the smaller Study for Fifteen Points / I (2016), which is also on display, explore the instinctual ability to perceive the human form in motion with only minimum visual information, deciphering even the subtlest nuances based on those movements.
Random International is a collaborative studio for experimental practice within contemporary art. A collective based in London and Berlin, it was founded in 2005 by Hannes Koch and Florian Ortkrass, who studied together at the Royal College of Art, London. Questioning aspects of identity and autonomy in the post-digital age, Random International’s works invite active participation. Solo presentations of their art have been exhibited at Le Laboratoire, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2016), Lunds konsthall, Sweden (2014), and Carpenters Workshop Gallery, Paris (2012).
Random International’s Rain Room has been exhibited at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2015–16); Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2015); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013); and London's Barbican (2012)—and will be installed as a work in the permanent collection of the Sharjah Art Foundation, United Arab Emirates, in 2017. Everything and Nothing (2016), a video work that explores the novel material Graphene, opened in July 2016 at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. Swarm Study / IX, an artwork based on self-organizing flocking behavior, is integrated onto the entire façade of the Chemnitz station building, and opens in September 2016 in Chemnitz, Germany. It is accompanied by a documentary exhibition at Grüntuch Ernst Lab, Former Jewish Girls’ School in Berlin, on view until September 17, 2016.
Pace has represented Random International since 2015. This is the first exhibition by the artist collective at the gallery.
This year, Grüntuch Ernst Labs the Former Jewish Girls School presents Random International's Swarm Study IX, an immersive video installation on view at the Chemnitz train station in Berlin. Swarm Study IX is the artists' first permanent, public installation in Germany. Learn more on Random International's website here.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art offers ticketing for Random International’s Rain Room through November 22, 2016 as a continuation of the exhibition which ran through April 2016. The acclaimed installation is an environment of perpetually falling water, that pauses wherever a human body is detected, offering visitors an opportunity to experience the impossible: the ability to control rain. For more information and tickets visit LACMA's website here.
Random International's first purely video-based work, Everything and Nothing, is featured in the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry's group exhibition Wonder Materials: Graphene and Beyond. The exhibition is now on view through June 25, 2017. Learn more on the museum's website here.