The Signal and the Noise

Solo exhibition, Vincent Price Art Museum, Spring 2019.

Exhibition Text:

The Signal and the Noise considers relationships between images and text, and ways in which collective action is influenced by public spectacle and new forms of propaganda.In this project, Chang employs mixed media strategies, appropriating newspapers, graphic displays, found images, and sculpture, to create an immersive environment with artworks that question how information is disseminated and consumed. 

The exhibition explores what artist Hito Steryl has referred to as a prevailing condition of groundlessness in our present moment, where the social foundation for political belief systems has lost stability, and in which images compete for relevance across a sea of data, registering some patterns of information as truth (the signal), while other important information gets dismissed as invalid (the noise). The exhibition include works such as a collapsed balcony, signaling a lost horizon line, a floor piece comprised of thousands of photo-collages of images drawn from political, cultural, and mass entertainment sources, and constructed newspaper clippings that co-mingle poetry and reportage.

As the boundaries between entertainment and politics collapse in our visual environment, aesthetics in political images can work to desensitize the viewer to the pain and suffering of others, or it can overwhelm through distraction and spectacle. But aesthetics in politics can also bring attention to covert disasters, transmit the emotional weight of narratives of oppression, and clarify moral truths. Chang’s exhibition questions how we find our bearings, how do we find truth in poetry, prose, and reportage when they all exist on the same groundless plane, when we may all be descending together in freefall.”

Installation images by Monica Orozco