Frankfurt am Main 2023
During a transformative train journey, Sigmund Freud encountered the elusive grip of the uncanny. As the cabin door abruptly closed, his own reflection took on an eerie demeanour, distorting the familiar and beckoning the strange. A profound mix of fascination and unease enveloped him. This enigmatic interplay between self and reflection, close and known yet detached and odd, forever altered Freud's theories and our understanding of the human mind—the uncanny dwells on the edges of our consciousness, where the familiar morphs into unsettling strangeness. Or perhaps the familiar was always strange, and we merely pretended otherwise.
Florian Adolph's exhibition LATENCIES delves into the poetic exploration of the eerie, the inexplicable, and the disconcerting. Adolph's works seamlessly shift between physical and digital, blurring the perhaps already extraneous boundaries of the virtual and the real. Delving into the depths of what Carl Jung would call a collective unconscious, the shared reservoir of archetypes and symbols that transcend individual experiences, now manifesting itself through “artificially-intelligent” generative processes, "LATENCIES" becomes a fusion of Adolph's creative methods and such learning algorithms. In the realms in which machines learn, the uncanny assumes new forms as the cabin’s window becomes a screen and the spectres are computer-generated.
Within the twilight of an almost-familiar space, synthetic beings and surfaces reside. As we grapple with AI's attempt to bridge the chasm of consciousness, we confront our deepest fears and existential pondering. Can we truly differentiate between the real and the artificial, or should we abandon such attempts altogether? Are these beings mere reflections, echoes of our humanity, or do they possess an otherworldly essence, evoking fascination and dread with their vaguely defined hands? In "LATENCIES," there is no mere angst but a passionate attempt to chart new imaginations and forms of collaboration. With a diverse array of works from the last two years, Adolph opens a processual liminal space where uncanny glitches emerge and are celebrated for what they are: sweet dreams or beautiful nightmares.