In A Random Rant, Sean Kerr’s new work for The Lightship, randomly-selected snippets of highlighter-pink text pop into view in rapid-fire succession, a bewildering stream-of-consciousness barrage of buzzwords, chatty comments and ‘90s-style ASCII emojis. Like much of Kerr’s work, A Random Rant offers a sly commentary on the absurdities that arise when the sterile world of technology encounters the teeming chaos of the everyday. 

Many of the words in A Random Rant’s vocabulary will be familiar staples of recent discourse, both public and private (climate, information, fake, epic) while others are non-sequiturs (achoo, squish, arrrt) and some are merely banal (shoes, tie, dog). This cavalcade of linguistic data points, flicking onto the screen with the relentless pace of an excited teenager’s instant messages, serves ultimately not to construct a conversation or serve an ideology, but to undermine the premise of communication itself. Randomly thrown together like this, the various components of our online lives (so much of which still revolve around simple text) add up to approximately nothing much.

With a wry grin, Kerr’s work underlines the phenomenon whereby an overabundance of information, endlessly repeated and reformulated, ultimately starts to take on only the ephemeral meanings that the viewer projects onto it.

About the artist: 

Sean Kerr lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand, where he is a Senior Lecturer at Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland. He is the Programme Leader for the Fine Arts Doctoral Programmes, specialises in Real-time 3d, VR and interactive technologies, and has produced two books.

A part of Art in the City. 

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Last updated: 06 September 2022