Uncertain Ruins


Uncertain Ruins was a site-responsive exhibition by Julie F Hill & Gauld Architecture that drew on the social, material and historical context of the Swiss Cottage Library in which Swiss Cottage Gallery is located.

Sculptures, video and photographic works responded to this context and have been made using a mix of artificial intelligence algorithms trained on astronomical datasets and related holdings from Swiss Cottage Library to consider the library’s potential as a container for all knowledge. Scaffolding structures reference software architectures used in the construction of the artworks and those that increasingly produce, organise and distribute knowledge. Together they play with notions of construction and ruin.

Invited responses from artists, scientists and researchers further explore themes of knowledge architectures, computation and cosmos.

The publication brings together the following:

• Exhibition text by Julie F Hill
• Full colour reproductions of exhibition imagery
• Text and imagery from accompanying events programme including window commission by Mary Yacoob, sculptural intervention and reading by Paula Smolarska and talk by Joe Banks/Disinformation

Specially commissioned contributions:
• A text by Crystal Bennes’ on experimental particle physics & data, featuring facts about bears, Monte Carlo & Super-Kamiokande
• Essay From The Big Bang to AI by cosmologist Dr Roberto Trotta
• First artwork made by a full scale quantum computer by artist, research and quantum physicist, Libby Heaney.
• Reproductions of artist Thom Bridge’s Reconciliations series: hybrid analogue & digital fibre-based silver gelatin prints that explore libraries and collections of materials that underpin creative practice
• Reproductions of two paintings from artist and musician Mark Siebert’s Any Given Moment series which use the screen of a smart phone as a template or mirror for engaging in digital spaces