Alumna explores the machine gaze

Work by Cass Fine Art graduate Nye Thompson exhibited at The Barbican Centre and Waterman's Arts

Date: 18 March 2019

New work by artist Nye Thompson, an alumna of MA Fine Art at The Cass, can be seen at both the Barbican Centre and Waterman’s Arts centre over coming weeks.

CKRBT at Waterman's Arts

Nye’s new solo show CKRBT (pronounced see-ker-bot) at Waterman’s Arts in Brentford explores the emergent machine gaze and the unseen power structures that underpin it. The processes of watching and describing the world are no longer the sole domain of people. Nowadays, and almost everywhere, machines are watching and interpreting images that are captured by algorithms operating other machines that are watching the world, seemingly on our behalf.

The CKRBT Network, created by the artist, is browsing the exhibition space, and the wider world. It uses machine learning algorithms to describe what it sees. It will scrutinise and comment on any human viewers as well. The Network is the primary audience for this exhibition, though you can watch too if you like.

On the Fri 22 March, 6.30-8.30pm there will be a launch and gallery tour offering visitors an opportunity to meet the artist and learn more about the work.

Insulae at The Barbican Centre

Insulae is a newly commissioned artwork by Nye Thompson continuing until the 5 May 2019. Flying low over digitally-rendered waves, Nye Thompson’s video installation INSULAE (Of the Island) contemplates the impact of island geography on national identity in a perpetually looping virtual tour of the waters just off the British mainland. With the ocean as a metaphorical buffer between the UK and the rest of the world, we are taken on a lonely journey patrolling our borders. The title INSULAE is Latin for “to or of the island” and this Latin word is also the root for the word “insular”.

Nye was selected from a shortlist of Lumen Prize artists to produce the new piece of work for the Barbican Centre’s 2019 programme, ‘Life Rewired’. This artwork was produced in collaboration with the Barbican Centre’s ‘Level G’ programmeTo find the artwork in the Barbican, please ask a member of staff.

Nye Thompson's evolving interest in the machine gaze began with her 2016-17 project on global surveillance:, which sparked a global debate on privacy when it was exhibited at The Cass Bank Gallery.


Image: From INSULAE by Nye Thompson

aerial view of sea and clouds