secret universe IV
25 January - 16 June 2013
After the third exhibition in the series, which presented works by the American artist Morton Bartlett and was extended to 15 October 2012, the fourth part of "secret universe" is showing George Widener's complex number pictures.
Born in Kentucky in 1962, Widener developed an early interest in numbers, calendars, numerology, historical data, population statistics, and mathematical calculations. In his clearly structured drawings he combines real historical events, such as the sinking of the Titanic, with his own calculations, analyzing both world events and his own biography and developing specific codes for the super-intelligent computer of the future. Influenced by the theories of Ray Kurzweil, an early researcher on artificial intelligences, Widener is convinced that in the year 2045 human brains will meld with high-power computers and consciousness will become software. With images based on secret algorithms, Widener wishes to provide intelligent entertainment for these supercomputers and make them positively inclined towards humanity. For Widener numbers and dates are not patterns that are intellectually reflected; they are part of his internal make-up, his fundamental system for perceiving the world. George Widener is namely a savant, that is a person with an unusual, isolated talent for numbers and calendars.
The fourth part of "secret universe" offers insights into Widener's complex body of work and shows the most important series of works by the artist as well as a new sequence of drawings, which were developed specifically for the exhibition. This is George Widener's first solo exhibition in a European museum.
The "secret universe" series has been made possible by the 'About Change, Stiftung'.
Curated by Claudia Dichter and Udo Kittelmann
George Widener, Birthday map (weekends), 2012 Mixed media on paper, 135 x 171,5 cm, Susanne Zander gallery, Cologne © photo: Bernhard Schaub
George Widener, Time Machine, 2010 Mixed media on paper, 184 x 139 cm, private collection, Berlin © photo: Bernhard Schaub
George Widener, Robot Puzzle, 2011 Mixed media on paper, 152,5 x 121 cm, private collection, Berlin © photo: Bernhard Schaub
George Widener, Megalopolis 8, 2010 Mixed media on paper, 154,5 x 72 cm, private collection © photo: Bernhard Schaub