We Transfer, Mark Leckey’s first solo show in Austria, focuses on the notion of transformation, conversion, transcendence. The simultaneity of different modes of existence (virtual vs. real), or of consciousness, that is significant for the present networked digital era is an issue inherent in a number of works by this British artist, whom the Guardian recently labelled ‘the artist of the YouTube generation.’ Leckey counters the view that smart technologies and an ever denser network of algorithms increasingly rationalises us users and transforms us into inhuman cyborgs with an alternative account: the network and its coordinates, he proposes, in fact engender a chaotic irrationalism, an unconscious. Everyone has his or her own individual—and, as the artist puts it, “autistic”—grid in which images, information, and recollections are stored.
Selected images from Mark Leckey’s personal grid are on display in the Secession’s main gallery. Short animations flicker across ten LED screens in endless loops—fluid visual ‘teasers’ such as a scene from Disney’s Pinocchio, a drag queen, the full moon, an ecstatically dancing teenager, a map visualizing Great Britain’s nocturnal illumination, a blown-up RGB grid, a figure that seems to mutate into an amorphous body… One recurrent motif is the dot, surfacing variously as the red, green, and blue points of light in the LED display’s matrix, marks on the light pollution map, the circular disk of the moon, the raster dots of a print, or a fabric pattern.