Cultivating spaces for extraordinary artists

Shape Arts: Flagship Award Winner

Shape Arts is delighted to announce 2021’s Adam Reynolds Awardee: writer, artist, and musician, Johanna Hedva.

Johanna will be working collaboratively with Shape Arts and Hot Knife Digital Media to develop the digital counterpart to their forthcoming sound work and installation, GLUT.

The physical installation opens, as part of the group exhibition Illiberal Arts, at The HKW, Berlin in September 2021.

About GLUT:

GLUT (a superabundance of nothing) is an inquiry into the knowings and unknowings of embodiment. It is a sound work composed with divination and AI, which manifests as both an immersive physical installation and online video game.

The core of GLUT is a sound composition made entirely of Hedva’s voice, ranging from its purest, most raw expression, to its AI vocal clone that’s been manipulated through vocoding processes to sound ever more de-human. The voice speaks and screams a text corpus synthesized from the writings of mystics, theoretical physicists and mathematicians, and the algorithm of amazon.com.

In the online video game, users follow a teratoma-like avatar through a non-Euclidean environment of nesting black holes, tunnels, water, and expanses of empty space. The physical installation mirrors this in a subtly eerie immersive room that draws on the hauntingly uncanny settings of films like Get Out and Under the Skin.

In all of its iterations, GLUT is rooted in the premise that AI has existed long before computers in the forms of divination and mysticism, and following this premise, GLUT asks what, how, and where we can know and un-know what we think we do.

About the award: ​​​​​​​

The Adam Reynolds Award is Shape Arts’ flagship award, set up in 2008 in memory of the life and work of sculptor Adam Reynolds.

It is designed to support a mid-career disabled artist looking to develop their practice and build their profile.

The award aims to provide an opportunity for artists to develop their ideas and practice without pressure to deliver a particular outcome such as finished or exhibition-ready work. It operates additionally to provide space, time, and financial support within a framework of constructive and creative critical dialogue.