Interview With Artist Alexandre Dorriz

Eileen King, Librarian, Art & Music Department,
Alexandre Dorriz black and white architectural drawing
Dorriz, Alexandre. Public Sculpture 001 – C. March 18 – April 22, 2021, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles

Alexandre Dorriz’s research-based work informs the viewer of a data-driven concept accompanied with a visual format that presents data as entities tied to economic systems with or without links to social or political intersections. The work may evoke an understanding that the data remain by nature independent of both visual representation and assigned value. The data simply are.

The consideration of public spaces features largely in your work. How does your research about an art idea influence the creative process?

Public space, in whatever forms “(P)ublic,” “public,” “a public'' appear, is a pigment in its relationship to its own financialization. They, in many ways, are imagined spaces because of their speculative fiscal compositions; and, in both arts spaces and non-arts spaces, but predominantly non-arts spaces (whatever that means), these public spaces become mirages, where public and private are atmospheric in both fiscal and legal properties. In the case of pomegranate and pistachio farms, an imagined geography exists not because of the fruit and the seed, but its monetization because of sanctions; and in the case of a water bank, not exactly a liquid geography of the Sacramento Delta, but more the memory of gold mining settlements.

What points of intersection with an idea most inform your production of an artwork? What sensory aspects in your work most inform the viewers’ perception?

The optical and the hermetic. My earliest conversations with curator Steve Wong in 2019 was in regards to Yves Klein’s Zone de Sensibilité Picturale Immatérielle and Siah Armajani’s Land Deeds. Both works speak to systems of exchange, trade, and ownership, but most importantly they both withhold and evacuate representation as part of their material in both works. That which is withheld becomes the viewers’ frustration that exists outside of the “art,” in patronage, in bureaucracy, in Capitalism, and in overarching systems which dominate our language of exchange, trade, and ownership. What is omitted, what is redacted, what is deleted, becomes part of the paper trail and echoes the State, to become the State, to become the Museum, to be anthropomorphized as representative of systems.

How does data inform art? In the process of conceiving an art production at what point is data separate from art? How does the viewer perceive the combination of data and art in your work?

I think of Walid Raad’s walkthrough navigating the Artist Pension Trust (APT) and MutualArt Group for his MoMA project, Translator’s introduction: Pension art in Dubai (2012). In a very grotesque and morbid way, aren’t we all (artists) just algorithmic entry points for the retail circus? And to revisit a public, I think of Mark Lombardi in the ways he was able to so gracefully collate data that seemingly pointed in directions with no particularly direct answers. The arguments that lay in those drawings are not asserted, they just exist as indexes to trails of trade, exchange, and monies. I think that is what makes data so interesting - they don’t argue, they just exist. The act of creating and making art is the making of data, and whatever sophisticated algorithms that bind and bridge us together I would maybe argue is more the art than the art we make. So perhaps the data scientists are more the artists.

—Co-written by Rosemarie Knopka, Librarian Archivist, Digitization and Special Collections

From our reading list you may wish to explore data, data as art, data and art, data and the artist, but you won’t want to miss Alexandre Dorriz’s exhibition at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery until April 22, 2021.

Reading List

Book cover for Painting by Numbers: Data-Driven Histories of Nineteenth-Century Art
Painting by Numbers: Data-Driven Histories of Nineteenth-Century Art
Greenwald, Diana

Book cover for The Art of Statistics: How to Learn From Data
The Art of Statistics: How to Learn From Data
Spiegelhalter, D. J

Book cover for The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation in the Age of AI
The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation in the Age of AI
Du Sautoy, Marcus

Book cover for The Supermodel and the Brillo Box
The Supermodel and the Brillo Box
Thompson, Donald N.

Book cover for Being Public: How Art Creates the Public
Being Public: How Art Creates the Public