Artcore Gallery’s Error & Power Residency started in early May. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the two selected Artists in Residence, Naho Matsuda and Neale Willis, worked from home rather than in our physical residency space and have created work for online exhibition rather than our gallery in Derby.

The callout asked artists to explore the strategy of creating space for chance, and the potential for mistakes and errors to shape the work, whether by design or accident. Naho took the infamous Milgram Obedience Experiment as her source, developing an imagined narrative from the word-pairs that the ‘learner’ in the experiment was required to memorise correctly. The punishment for failure to do so was electrocution, administered by the volunteer ‘teacher’, testing the extent of their obedience to the voice of authority. Neale’s project is a test of a different kind, questioning the logic and limitations of both human and artificial intelligence, and he shows us the somewhat bizarre and idiotic (though strangely beautiful) outcomes of their combined efforts to reconstruct online images of domestic bathrooms.

Both artists blogged about the development of their work throughout the residency, and a series of artists’ talks and live crit sessions happened every Thursday on the Artcore Gallery FB page. You can link through to this content at the foot of the page if you would like to find out more about the making of the work.

Residency Artists

Naho Matsuda: Blue Girl

‘Blue Girl’ reimagines the ‘learning test’ found within Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Experiment, immersing the audience in the continual repetition of the correct 25 word pairs found in the original experiment. The word pairs are a seemingly unimportant part of the experiment, but act within the work as a loophole or an escape route to explore alternative realities within the world of power, control and disobedience.


About Naho

Naho is a German-Japanese artist based in London. Her work brings together the ordinary and the absurd to explore notions of labour, internet culture, emerging technology and the commons. Her work includes; print, publications, writing, installation and performance. Naho holds a part-time post as a research assistant and tutor in the design department at Goldsmiths University.

Instagram: @naho.matsuda

This series of works is one in which the machine asks the artist to paint a digital image while the artist asks the machine to create an imagined scene. This creates a dialogue between an artist and an Artificial Intelligence, using the interplay of mistakes made by both to create a new artwork.


About Neale

Neale Willis is particularly interested in creating conflict between what enters the machine and what leaves it. He manipulates data to create ambiguities within the certainties of the digital realm, breeding uncertainty from the usually reassuring definite of binary data and letting repetition and replication take form as a rhythm from the space in-between the known and unknown.

Instagram: @nealewillis

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