I wrote a short piece for THE SEEN interpreting Michael Rakowitz's practice--on view in the glorious Backstroke of the West survey exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art--through the lens of information theory.
This was a fun piece to write. It's mostly grounded in an essay called Fundamental Forms of Information by Marcia Bates, which I stumbled across and referenced briefly in my MFA thesis 10+ years ago. I peaked at it again this past fall when I was putting together a syllabus for a graduate theory seminar in the sculpture department at SAIC. My premise was that information theory provides a unique framework for analyzing production of objects, one that opens up different pathways than semiotic or formalist approaches, among others. Each of my students did a presentation applying the terms of the essay to some artist's project or body of work, and it was helpful to work through these ideas with them over the course of the semester. When we did a class visit to the Rakowitz show, it seems especially pertinent.