THE RIGHT MARGIN
18 NOVEMBER 2016 - 14 JANUARY 2017 // Small Editions, Brooklyn
Small Editions is pleased to present The Right Margin, a group exhibition curated by Alt Esc, featuring the works of Joshua Caleb Weibley, Katie Pennachio, and Andy Ralph.
“Obviously a drawing of a person is not a real person, but a drawing of a line is a real line.” – Sol Lewitt
“The idea behind digital computers may be explained by saying that these machines are intended to carry out any operations which could be done by a human computer.” – Alan Turing
The rounded right margin is a theory that suggests one way to tell a difference between a machine-made mark versus a man-made mark is humans’ inclination to round their letters towards the right margin as an attempt to compensate for the irregularity of their written words and the spaces between them. We have achieved the technology that can monetize man’s unpredictability for the purpose of replicating personalized objects. There is a constant thirst to continue duplicating and recreating for self-improvement, preservation, and an unreachable ideal. The way we consume and digest information, the way we exude it, and the way we leave our prints, is in constant flux. The question posed is how do we maintain our singularity, our human presence, in a time when a perfect version of ourselves is more sought after? And what happens when we start seeking to replicate the mark that is left upon us by machines? In a time when a digitized ideal is sought after, and authenticity is trumped by a coded paradigm, what does a man-made mark really stand for?
Katie Pennachio’s delicate paintings draw from digital interfaces and the unnatural beauty in our tech-infused culture. The geometric forms of Excel sheets, overlapping windows and graphed lines are recurring structures within her work. She brings these ideas into painting with tactile lines and deliberate color sets. The programs meant to format daily office culture, become digested and re-appropriated into vibrant linear compositions.
Andy Ralph is a technician and mechanic. He removes parts of everyday objects, manipulating and transforming them into his conglomerates and objects, which also abide by his own set of rules. In "Yield & Purge," he folds steel posts into the shape of a street sign, and hand drills holes into them to recreate an illusion of a familiar everyday object. Like a telephone switchboard that creates an antagonistic feedback loop, the hand-drilled inputs/outputs reveal the monotony of industrialized processes.
In Joshua Caleb Weibley’s Animal drawings, he meticulously draws the covers of the O’Reilly Media’s Animal books – a series of standard guides for programming and coding language. The O’Reilly covers feature appropriated 19th-century engravings of animals, each one tied to the books’ selection of technical subjects through visual and linguistic jokes. meant to be a subtle pun referencing the high tech content of the books. This pairing of the guides to the improvement of technology, with the subtlety of humor only detectable by humans, is an interesting dichotomous metaphor for the relationship between mean and machines. Weibley’s representation of the O’Reilly title "Mastering the Bitcoin" series is composed of four panels in CMYK. is comprised of four drawings in cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Since each panel is merely the same image repeated in different inks, they do not cohere into a single image. In this, their reference to print colors playfully gestures towards literalizing the drawings’ analogy of drawing to printing while also daftly comparing private bitcoin mining to counterfeiting one’s own money. Tabs in the bottom of each drawing’s frame allude to printer cartridges, while satirizing the idea of customizability. Weibley elevates this idea by hand-drawing the covers to an exact replica, worthy of the finest machine, but maintaining the human touch in every sense.
About the Artists
Katie Pennachio (b. 1988) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her MFA from Rutgers University in 2015 and her BFA from New York University in 2010. Her work has been exhibited at Fernwey Gallery in Chicago, IL; Gowanus Loft in Brooklyn, NY; Fitness Center for the Arts & Tactics in Brooklyn, NY; and the Ho_se in Brooklyn, NY. She was recently a fellowship recipient at Vermont Studio Center.
Joshua Caleb Weibley was born the year O’Reilly Media published their first “Animal” book. He is an artist, sometime writer and occasional curator living in Brooklyn, NY. Recent exhibitions include “Drawings” at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery (New York), “Cruft” at TRANSFER Gallery (Brooklyn) and “Colophon” at Veronica (Seattle). Weibley's “Animal” drawings series has been covered by The Creators Project and by Makezine, which is somewhat appropriate as Makezine shares a founder with O’Reilly Media.
Andy Ralph (b. 1982) is a New York-based artist whose practice could be summed up as a series of calculated—yet remarkably broad—risks. There is, however, one unifying identifiable approach in his work: Ralph engages with the imaginary potentials that reside in utilitarian objects. He transforms objects, or object-structures, into humorous, critical, and provocative configurations that provide a depth of both aesthetic-visual texture and conceptual rigor.