Algae Are More Dangerous Foes of Truth Than Lies

Hannah Hallam Eames & Samuel Jackson

06.09.2017 - 29.09.2017


Algae Are More Dangerous Foes of Truth Than Lies

Algae Are More Dangerous Foes of Truth Than Lies

This exhibition explores the materiality and networked apparatus of the algae translator/machine. A network of approximately 4-6 months of data and language gathering precedes the live performance of the machine during the exhibition. This gathering provides the vocabulary for the apparatus, allowing the algae to speak from its material and discursive beginnings as a participant or ‘cheap nature’ co-opted by techno-capitalism. The speaking of the algae and the algorithm allows for an ontological approach that plays with notions of algae being, the role of algae as object is subverted and is instead recreated as anxious protagonist or narrator. Thus the algae, even though shrouded by a violent anthropocentric network, could still be considered as an autonomous actor/subject. All networks however, are distributed so that power resides within each node as some kind agency or power.  The algae then is free, but only in the sense that it is captured and surveilled, free to grow and prosper- and only if it is able to save not only the world, but also capitalism.

The algorithm as one component within the algae apparatus, channels sense data through chance, into language. Humans (experts and anonymous scientists on Google) will provide the textual knowledge of its history from which it will speak. This human element will however also provide an anxiety around performance; will the algorithm speak often, profoundly or sensically? The sense organs that surround and pervade the algae, operate as both the vehicle for the algae’s agency, as well as tool of surveillance for the human factor within the network. The dialogue between algae and human with apparatus as intermediary is a network ridden with miscommunication as all three struggle for comprehension. This struggle will be transcribed as aphorisms that may be; profound, humorous, anxious, absurd, uncanny or solipsistic. The algae apparatus is didactic, it does not argue or explain, but asserts its specific truth. The final speaking, will be less of an articulation/rendering, and more of a result built upon chaos and error. The algae then, is decentered from its role as silenced participant, to triumphant poet. Thus the algae is red, a visual accent that undermines the recent rationalisations of algae as a fuel and form of currency. Red being the colour of romanticism, blood, wine, passion and chaos.


Samuel Jackson is a Wellington based writer and artist who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies, (Hons) from Victoria University in 2015.

RECENT EXHIBITIONS: ‘Big Sacred Technologies’ Blue Oyster Art Project Space, (2017) Dunedin (solo) ‘Through various voids in the rocks’, Meanwhile (online hypertext), Wellington (2017); stay_on PDF group show with Jordana Bragg, Jesse Bowl- ing and Callum Devlin (2015), Malware/s/lonely (2016), 8 Egmont st, Wellington (solo). PUBLISHED WRITING; Prophecy, a reflection of the oracle (2017) Blue Oyster. Response to Laminal Interfaces (2016), Window. Immanent Feedback, Fire and Loss, RM and Enjoy Public art Gallery, (2016); Open Source, Social Activism and “Necessary Trade-of s” in the Digital Enclosure: A Case Study of Platform Co-operative,, Triple C Journal, London (2016). Fitbits; Anxiety Control, Sado Journal, Wellington (2017),

Hannah Hallam-Eames is a Wellington-based artist who graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts (Hons) from Massey University in 2014.

RECENT EXHIBITIONS: Spilled Brains/Synthetic circuits (2016), Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington (Solo); i think a lot about how i killed them (2016), RM, Auckland (Solo); Laminal interfaces (2016), Window Gallery, Online; BLAST! (2015-2016), Digital Arts Festival, ASIA NOW, Paris and Palermo, Italy; As a Lattice (2015) Toi Poneke, Wellington (Solo).

The artists would like to thank The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and programmer, Josh Corrich.



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