We live in an inhuman world. John Hovig explores the intersections between the high-tech devices and algorithms powering our lives (or overpowering them), and those innate, primitive acts of mark-making—a form of rudimentary language outside of technology—which can help people understand each other.
His subject matter ranges from the quotidian to the psychological—abstract figures to portraits—and his methods vary from expressionistic exercises to structured linework drawings, acrylic knife paintings to photomanipulations, even “drawings” executed by software written himself.
A background in AI and internet software development gives Hovig a unique perspective to measure the ways in which technology helps us – he uses computers in his practice himself – but also threatens to monopolize the conversation around almost every aspect of our current existence. What human sphere is still untouched today? When everyone is replaced by machines—Artistotle’s plectrum automatically playing its own harp—will man-made art be our key to survival?
Continually experimenting, restlessly testing, implementing uncounted variations, in an attempt to approach an answer to his inquiries (but of course never achieve them), Hovig asks who, or what, is in control of our technology-driven world, and how does it alter us? Does technology provide tools and materials for our ever-evolving society, or are we its raw materials as it gradually supplants us?
"John Hovig's abstract work, with all its linear fluidity, takes on the quality of organic, biomorphic forms floating in an undefined space. Notice how the line undulates and twists round and round, how following its pattern mediates a meditative act of vision."
Joseph Staley IV
Curator, Glade Gallery