like april 2009

the show runs APRIL 2 – MARCH 3, 2009

THIS is Luke’s third solo show at CANADA.

“In one room with three large digital projections, a central pedestal holds three Geiger counters with their probes pointed at what appears, at first glance, to be an innocuous vase. That vessel however is made of Vaseline glass, also known as uranium glass, which glows with UV fluorescence. The glaze used on Vaseline glass is a mild beta emitter that naturally decays and releases fast-moving electrons and positrons. Each of three Geiger Counters detect the charged particles and sends a unique signal to a computer, which responds by generating the speed, color, placement, and transitions in the three projections. Unlike work that uses random number sequences, which are not 100% random, MURPHY harnesses uranium’s decay to create “perfect randomness”. The use of randomness, the aleatory (from the Latin to roll dice), and chance elements or sources has a long history in art. From the Lascaux cave drawings where the forms of the animals seem to result from the rock formations to Alexander Cozens and his “New Method” of random blots to Strindberg, the Surrealists, Duchamp and cage, the relation of the artist to the random has moved from suggestion and inspiration to a kind of anti-aesthetic. MURPHY believes there are roughly three models of randomness as part of the artistic process: suggestion, inspiration,and subversion. Common to all however is that the random is a strategy to circumvent our normal controls and frames of reference. It is a cipher for nature itself both as a generative and as a destructive force, in other words, the SUBLIME.” – press release

“The time between ticks of the Geiger counter is the wholly unknown that makes up the fabric of the universe. It is the emptiness and unknowability of the machine. The computer translates that sublime unpredictability into a new sublime of information by taking the truly random intervals and making them truly random numbers. Confronting the fact that no tick interval can be predicted is like accepting the reality of a vacuum. It exposed the limits of language and imagination.” –Luke Murphy

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Luke # 1
in the front room, a loop – ‘Good Eye, Bad Eye’ greets you. intense opening shot !!

luke # 2
detail, LUKE MURPHY, ‘Good Eye, Bad Eye’.

luke # 4
detail, LUKE MURPHY, ‘Good Eye, Bad Eye’.

Luke # 5
detail, LUKE MURPHY, ‘Good Eye, Bad Eye’.

luke # 6
detail, of the installation loop. LUKE MURPHY, ‘Good Eye, Bad Eye’.

luke # 7
moving on – to the main exhibit room, we notice LESNY JN FELIX, with his camera.

luke # 8
we introduce LESNY to LUKE !! on the right, LUKE MURPHY – the artist of the moment.

LUKE explained some interesting details about the show. first of all – how much he liked the image on the show’s card (above). It’s a commercial news photo he liked so much, that as soon as he saw it – he purchased the right for a one time publication use – and then decided to use it as his card’s image . . . a calling card for the show, so to speak.
it shows: “Iranian artists as they hold up samples of enriched uranium in Mashad, Iran, April 11, 2006.”
as the show unfolds, it’s also apparent the big white birds, were also an inspiration.

Luke # 9
LUKE MURPHY in front of his – ‘Barney’s Next Step After Canvas’ !!

Luke Murphy # 10
LUKE MURPHY – ‘Barney’s Next Step After Canvas’ – an infinite non-repeating digital file.

ok. so in this room there are 3 independent yet connected, large wall projections. ‘Barney’s Next Step After Canvas’, which clearly refers to Barnett Newman’s colors studies; ‘Dance of Perfect Randomness’ which has soaring birds – endlessly mutating out of clouds of a restricted color palette; and,’Draft’ which is more of a kind of indistinct, truly abstract – mass pastel color morph !!
‘Barney’s’ is more literal and linear, figuratively and philosophically. The patterns of the ever-changing ‘statico’ vertical lines – never repeats. It is infinite.
‘Dance of Perfect Randomness’ displays organic representational bird forms in constant evolution and flight, ending in fleeting existence. The pattern never repeats – it is infinite.
‘Draft’ is a cloud of soft color and shape that endless morphs, never repeats and is infinite in its mutations.

Luke # 12 a
a glimpse of ‘Dance of Perfect Randomness’, center, and, ‘Draft’ at right.

Luke # 11
LUKE MURPHY, ‘Barney’s Next Step After Canvas’ – watch the vertical lines !!

Luke # 12
LUKE MURPHY, ‘Barney’s Next Step After Canvas’.

Luke # 13
center – note the flower vase – it is a glowin’ !!

ok. now the tricky part, the magic part. the Rev. Luke Murphy – part !!

all these changes, in each of the 3 formats, like the lines above, in ‘Barney’s’ for example – is keyed into the sputter of a Geiger Counter – as it tracks, ‘truly’ random beats from the ‘glowing’ Vaseline glass vase, aka ‘uranium’ glass !! (which is actually ‘alive’ – emitting naturally decaying electrons and positrons. and glowing with “UV fluorescence” – while attempting to be normal – as it holds flowers !!)
each of the 3 projections has its own Geiger Counter sensitive ‘mike’ – that dictates their changes, their pace and visual evolution & fractile pattern – according to the sensors’ input impact on the computer program that runs each of the 3 digital files. yep. that’s it. its kinda mind blowing and pretty simple, to comprehend – at the same time. Luke does the hidden tech work – and so, thank your lucky tech, NOT !! stars – you don’t need to understand that – to dig the images !! with their endlessly, yet individually ‘defined’ or contained, as in finite !! – formats, i.e. abstract lines, birds, and mass morph – each making beautiful evolutions in the dance of an infinite world (a beautiful concept – just that: i-n-f-i-n-i-t-e !!) purely of the Reverend’s making – and, keyed, as in: K-E-Y-E-D !! to his secret love – the pure randomness of Uranium sourced – numbers !!
well, they don’t call him the Reverend, for no reason . . .

luke # 14
the control console – with the camera flash on – no glow in the vase – but, a better a look at the Geiger counters & sensor mikes !!

luke # 15
. . . “the glaze used on the Vaseline glass (of the vase, aka uranium glass) is a mild beta emitter that naturally decays and releases fast-moving electrons and positrons. Each of the three Geiger Counters detect the charged particles and sends a unique signal to a computer, which responds by generating the speed, color, placement, and transitions in the three projections.” . . . “MURPHY harnesses uranium’s decay to create ‘perfect randomness’.”


luke # 16 AA

Luke # 17
. . . the Geiger Counters

Luke # 18
the computer that runs the projections – is housed in the base of the console.

luke # 19
LUKE MURPHY – ‘Dance of Perfect Randomness’.

Luke # 20
LUKE MURPHY – it was easier to make out the changing, but quickly fleeting birds – on the large wall.
it was a very fluid, but fairly rapid evolution/animation.

luke # 21

Luke # 22

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luke # 26
LUKE MURPHY – ‘Draft’. completely fluid. as in morphing with no apparent representational ‘code’.
or at least, not in our world, as we currently comprehend it !!

Luke # 27
LUKE MURPHY – ‘Draft’.

Luke # 28

Luke # 29
it was kind of ironic – the one projection in which you could actually hear the Geiger Counter ping and register the corresponding change clearly – was the in the man-made Barnett Newman-inspired composition !! the vertical lines ‘popped’ clearly – in time to the ‘random’ uranium pulse.

see: BARNETT NEWMAN/wikipedia !!

luke # 30
LUKE MURPHY’S non-repeating digital file – ‘Barney’s Next Step After Canvas’.

luke # 31
SARAH BRAMAN – her installation at MUSEUM 52’s booth was the big, and maybe only hit, at this year’s ARMORY.

luke # 33
LEIF RITCHEY !! one of the best & brightest !!