The Windsor Hotel

Amalia Lindo
Sam Martin

09.08.2023 - 12.08.2023

Haydens is pleased to present new works by Amalia Lindo and Sam Martin as part of the eighth edition of the Spring188 Art Fair at The Hotel Windsor. As a unique pairing of two seemingly disparate practices, this presentation highlights contemporary questions of labour, technology, and craft.

Amalia Lindo’s suite of twelve CNC trace monotypes are created from over 9,000 descriptive keywords submitted by globally-distributed online workers over one year. The keywords were provided by workers to describe their video submissions for Lindo’s twelve-channel video installation Telltale: Economies of Time (2022-23). Depicting partial images reminiscent of touchscreen gestures, each work reveals a glimpse into the lives of a global digital workforce. The monotype drawings, primarily in silver and earthy tones, share similarities to early surrealist automatic drawings–highlighting the increasingly blurred line between human and machine. These works further emphasise artificial intelligence (AI) as a reflection of our collective conscience, an extension of Lindo’s broader research into the human intelligence behind AI systems.

Sam Martin’s eclectic series of small-scale paintings are framed in skeuomorphic injection moulds of various patterned baskets. As an art form, basketry is one of the few crafts that has yet to be mass-produced via manufacturing. Martin’s faux facsimiles of this ancient craft are used to frame our view of abstract painting as a heterogeneous object. These works use the picture plane as a site to explore the materiality of painting through layering and optical illusion. Paint and its application, via staining, brushing, and the various interweaving of coloured threads, questions and interrogates our understanding of the painted image.

Viewing these bodies of work together raises questions about labour in a contemporary context. Martin’s works Element (2022-23) and Re-enactment (2022-23) act as markers of time through their laborious process of layering, stitching, and sewing, emphasised by gently dragging paint across the surface revealing its peaks and valleys. Just as the collision of tectonic plates slowly forms mountains, the surface of these works only exists through a build-up of time and material. Here, the artist’s labour is directly embedded in the picture plane. Lindo’s work similarly incorporates a build-up of labour over a significant period of time. In this case, it is the result of the labour of roughly 1,800 human workers who are routinely contracted to train AI. The aesthetic of her work is a direct result of the mass volume of its inputs, with its symbolism derived from the common themes identified by these globalised workers.

Just as Martin’s paintings are composed of thousands of layered threads, Lindo’s machine-mediated drawings are an accumulation of thousands of individuals’ labour. As our technology continues to evolve to replicate human creative acts, art will continue to exemplify the layered and at times contradictory conditions that make us human.

Amalia Lindo (b. 1990, United States) is a multi-disciplinary artist in Naarm/Melbourne. In 2016, she completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (First Class Honours) at Monash University. By incorporating human and algorithmic decision-making into her image-based practice, Lindo examines the effects of automated technologies, such as artificial intelligence, on human labour, behaviour and decision-making.

Sam Martin (b. 1985, Australia) is a contemporary artist who uses painting as a platform to test the order and location of things. The pictures are created over a number of years. Within the studio environment, each piece undergoes a process of rigorous experimentation - splicing together elements of repetition, circumstance and decoration. Found materials are combined with labour intensive craft and the picture plane reconciles every decision for the viewer. The final outcome is arrived at rather than determined.

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