UVA (United Visual Artists) is a London-based collective founded in 2003 by British artist Matt Clark (b.1974). UVA’s diverse body of work integrates new technologies with traditional media such as painting, sculpture, performance and site-specific installation. The practice has an open and inclusive approach to collaboration. While Clark leads the UVA team, the plural use of the word ‘artist’ in its designation refers to the many collaborators with whom Clark works. Drawing from sources ranging from ancient philosophy to theoretical science, the practice explores the cultural frameworks and natural phenomena that shape our cognition, creating instruments that manipulate our perception and expose the relativity of our experiences. Rather than material objects, UVA’s works are better understood as events in time, during which performances of light, sound and movement unfold.
‘The Etymologies’ (2017) is a series of geometric canvases illuminated by transitioning text. Each work in the series draws from a different source, including works by Roland Barthes, Marcel Proust and Daniel Dennett. As texts transition and recalibrate, new prose appears, but only fleetingly. ‘The Etymologies’ engages a process of collaborative scripting that depends on both the algorithm driving the work and the reader’s comprehension. Collectively, the series addresses consciousness, authorship and memory. The unique shape of each canvas highlights how the particular experience is shaped by the environment in which it is viewed. The sources for the individual work The Etymologies (square), on view in this exhibition, are Why Life Speeds Up As You Get Older by Douwe Draaisma and In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust.