matt checkowski — glyph

artist statement

Glyph is inspired by the conversations I’ve had in and around the development of speechless, mostly those that focused on the language of creative expression and its role in fostering empathy.

As a filmmaker, whenever I walk into a gallery, I find myself wanting to know more about the artists behind the work. Not just their story but who, and how they are. If I’m lucky enough to learn more about the person, I can draw new meaning from their work and more clearly understand the world through their perspective. speechless provided an opportunity to bring that forward in a unique way – one that uses video to welcome visitors into the minds of the artists and the conversations we’ve all had across a year of thinking and creating for the exhibition. The ability to have those conversations was rare, and I know it was meaningful for all of us and our work.

It was also an opportunity to consider language in the modern moment – when devices, algorithms and machine learning increasingly stand between us and what we mean. We’ve always lost control of what we say—or create—the instant we share it, but our transmission has never been so filtered, remixed and auto-corrected as it is today by technology that is supposed to connect us. With Glyph, as the artists of speechless have a conversation about creative expression, a computer is translating their speech into images, creating an entirely new pictographic language in real time with the most popular search results from the internet at that moment in time, unique and discrete from every other moment in time. I’m interested in how our technology is reshaping language on a global scale and challenging the power of words — Glyph explores how a more visual mode of communication might provide for a shared moment and a different kind of understanding.

speechless turned out to be an inspiring opportunity to talk more with each other.