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video projection of faces on a brick wall
video projection of faces on a brick wall

Test projections for The Mathematics of Consciousness at Pioneer Works, July 2022. Photo: Walter Wlodarczyk.

The video artist Charles Atlas opens one of his most ambitious and complex commissions this week at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn. Projected on both walls of the institution’s 100-foot-long Main Hall, The Mathematics of Consciousness expands on Atlas’s recurring interests in science, consciousness, and the workings of the human mind.

Images in the video are drawn from his past and present work, including his collaborations with performers like Merce Cunningham and Kembra Pfahler, and TikTok videos showing viral dance trends. They drift across the walls like fleeting memories or thoughts, while patterns of web-like structures link everything together.

“I subscribe to that idea that an artist just makes work. It’s up to the other people decide what it means,” Atlas told Artnet News over Zoom as he was finishing the project in his studio.

While he confessed he was not sure what the final project would look like exactly, he did hope that it would pull together different elements of the various subjects he has been interested in over the years.

“I wonder what people will get out of it,” he said.

The installation, which features a score by Lazar Bozic and a specially designed stage by Mika Tajima where performances, talks, and other events will be held, opens on Friday, September 9, and run through Sunday, November 20.

Read full interview at

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