Adriana Ramić

Standard Human Mesh Recovery Method
In Practice: Adriana Ramić
SculptureCenter, New York
February 19–March 25 2024

Gallery guide
Accompanying booklet

Adriana Ramić’s multidisciplinary and conceptual work arises from the tenuous pathos of sentient traces and translations among lifeforms and machines, evading the novelty of conditioning them toward human thought and experience. Drawing from research into artificial intelligence and machine learning, computational ephemera, nonhuman cognition, and literature, her work investigates the sensitivity of comprehension and perception.

Stainless steel enclosures, with the sterility of a laboratory or the shine of a kitchen appliance, reflect the projections of Ramić’s new video installation, Standard Human Mesh Recovery Method, 2024. Ramić has programmed Porro prisms (used in cameras and binoculars to invert an image) to dip in front of the projector lenses, transforming the projection from a means of representation to refracted light, splayed across the room, disrupting the scene’s interiority. Amniotic jars of pickles with turnips cut into mice and cats line the gaps of the gallery, culinary-biological experiments rendered with the stuff of eastern European market halls.

Tiny bulbous spheres float and bob on the screens. With some effort, one can make them out as infant fish, swirling in and out of focus amongst digital artifacts and aquarium flora just out of frame. Monads of organic matter with black dots for eyes, the fish reveal sentience as a simple, startling fact. Found among her late father’s effects, the footage was taken between 1996 and 2004, when the artist was a child helping document the surprise offspring of their pet pufferfish Ježić and Bumbar. Recovered alongside the footage were logs attempting to find patterns in the habits and moods of the fish, and to thus produce knowledge from their existence.

The work’s title, Standard Human Mesh Recovery Method, refers to the process of creating a three-dimensional model of a human from a two-dimensional image. The computer attempts to extrapolate on what is visible, give shape to what is amorphous and unknown. Ramić’s installation insists on the rift between life and its models; through its preoccupation with life as it is studied, preserved, and remembered, one is haunted by what evades comprehension.

Curated by Christopher Aque, Exhibition and Program Manager, and Kyle Dancewicz, Deputy Director. In Practice 2023 is organized by the SculptureCenter curatorial team. Photo by Charles Benton. Video by Sebastian Bach. With thanks to Dennis Witkin/inge, Willie Gambucci, Will Weatherly, Mirak Jamal, and Anna Bialas.