Erandy Vergara Vargas curates, teaches, and writes on contemporary and media art. Born in Mexico City, based in Montreal. More info

Exhibition: Through Secrets: The Art of Creating Spaces Between the Lines

Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges (Montreal)
December 15 2022 – March 5 2023
Artists: Adam Basanta, Sophia Brueckner, Dayna Danger, August Klintberg, and Cheryl Sim

Desire is the compass and catalyst of our actions, both online and in the palpable world beyond the screen. Images can not only trigger but generate and redirect desire, and publicists and social media companies know this all too well.

In today’s world, where our consumption of images and products is often mediated through mobile devices and other screen-based technologies, social media companies and the programmers behind their algorithms work around our desires to call forth and sustain our attention. These algorithms then get to know our more obscured desires (and secrets) through our online searches, the images we hover over on social media, and the messages we type out but never send. Given the complexity of human behaviors and emotions, and the fact that our deeper impulses are often obscured to us, how can algorithms figure out what we crave the most? Can algorithms “read between the lines” and decipher stories behind an image when not even our closest friends and lovers can? 

This exhibition revolves around the intricate, unresolved, and contradictory nature of human identities, and the secrets we can still keep from search engines, social media, and other apps we use on a daily basis. Artists Adam Basanta, Sophia Brueckner, Dayna Danger, August Klintberg, and Cheryl Sim explore desire, love, queer relationships and spaces, and critical approaches to algorithms and artificial intelligence. Commissioned for this exhibition, the works presented encourage us to consider the uncertainty, precarity and lack of precision in our interpersonal search histories and emotions. They invite us to dive into our secrets, even those we keep from ourselves.

Curator: Erandy Vergara-Vargas

Adam Basanta
Targeted: Hands
Transfer on canvas. Ed 1/5 + AP. 18″x18″
Sophia Brueckner
Captured by an Algorithm
Kindle Popular Highlights from romance novels, scanned romance novel covers, Photoshop’s photomerge algorithm, porcelain plates, gold paint
16 plates, 25cm diameter each
Dayna Danger
The edge of an antler
Video | 10 minutes
August Klintberg
Edition of 250 custom-printed paper coasters
Courtesy of the artist and Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain
Cheryl Sim
Video, chairs, coffee table, booklet, plant
8:17 minutes
Camera & Editing: George Fok