HFT The Gardener
February 11 – March 12, 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 11, 6-8 pm
P.P.O.W is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Suzanne Treister. HFT The Gardener will feature artworks created by the fictional character Hillel Fischer Traumberg, a banker turned 'outsider artist'.
At work one day Traumberg, a British high frequency trader (HFT), enters a semi-hallucinogenic state that alters his perceptions of the trading algorithms he is working with. Inspired by this experience, he starts to experiment with psychoactive drugs and explore the ethno-pharmacology of plants from which they are derived.
Utilizing the ancient Hebrew tradition of Gematria, which assigns a numerical value to each letter of the alphabet, Traumberg calculates the numerological equivalents of the botanical names of the psychoactive plants and cross-references them with companies in the FT Global 500 Financial Index. Pairing the botanical plants with the companies they correspond to on the FT Index, he spends his days creating groups of prints and drawings inspired by the work of Ernst Haekel which he had loved as a child, and of Adolf Wölfli, whose drawings he had more recently seen on a banking trip to Bern in Switzerland.
Released from his job in the city, Traumberg communes with the traditional shamanic users of the plants whose practices include healing, divining the future, entering the spirit world and exploring the hallucinatory nature of reality. He develops a fantasy of himself as a techno-shaman, transmuting the spirituality of the universe and the hallucinogenic nature of capital into new art forms.
He becomes an 'outsider artist' whose work is discovered and collected by oligarchs, bankers and corporations. Unaffected by success Traumberg continues his parapsychopharmacological research, working on a new algorithm to discover the true nature and location of consciousness, to discover whether the realities opened up by psychoactive plants are arbitrary hallucinations or whether they indeed lift the brain's filter, opening the portal to what lies beyond our everyday consensus reality.
HFT The Gardener will feature this expansive series of works, offering visitors a chance to experience the complex renderings of an artist meditating on an artist, the human mind attempting to analyze the human mind.
''HFT The Gardener' extends Treister’s fascination with esoteric translation, the cybernetics of consciousness, and the hallucinatory aesthetics that radiate from real-world circulations of power.' - Erik Davis
Suzanne Treister studied at St Martin’s School of Art, London (1978-1981) and Chelsea College of Art and Design, London (1981-1982) and currently lives and works in London. Primarily a painter through the 1980s, Treister was a pioneer in the digital/new media/web based field from the beginning of the 1990s, developing fictional worlds and international collaborative organizations. Often spanning several years, her projects comprise fantastic reinterpretations of given taxonomies and histories that examine the existence of covert, unseen forces at work in the world, whether corporate, military or paranormal. Recent exhibitions include solo and group shows at the ICA London; 10th Shanghai Biennale, China; 8th Montréal Biennale, Canada; ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany; Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA), Netherlands; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; Raven Row, London; Secession, Vienna; Museum of Contemporary Art (CAPC) Bordeaux and Annely Juda Fine Art, London. Treister’s work is held in private and public collections including Tate Britain; Science Museum, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, Poland and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna.