interiority machines | Eli Coplan


Why do we have television networks?

Television would not be so much fun to watch if there were no way to send programs over long distances.

- All About Radio and Television, 1958

If a sense of scale or distance is significant in the reception of a message from afar, it remains merely a sense. This is a show about understanding this kind of sense, about the ways in which technologies of transmission and display have shaped sense over the last century, in the awkward alignment of information and sensation.

Light and sound are principle agents in the creation of images. All seconds are moments of decision. All moments of agency have the potential to be transformed into new forms of labor. Technologies are anything but neutral. There is no immaterial.

This show situates historical media forms and contents – photography, film, radio, television, and computation – within the contingent, felt space of the here and now. It strives to make the imperceptible facets of networked life – those environmental constants which are overwhelmingly present in effect, yet whose materiality is out of pace with human bodies – experienceable by bringing them into the space of the room, the moment.

Eli Coplan creates sculptures that act like performances, and installations that are flexible, ephemeral, and live. He is concerned with image production, nonhuman agency, simultaneity, and environment. For this exhibition, he has developed many of his own technical apparatuses through a process of research, experimentation, and play. Based in Portland, OR, he has shown with Surplus Space in Portland, Black Box Festival and PUNCH Gallery in Seattle, and Chin’s Push in Los Angeles. With Jade Novarino, he curates exhibitions in Portland under the moniker Conduit. He is also a member of RECESS, a multiform curatorial project born in Portland, now organized by artists, writers, and curators distributed across the United States. He received a BA from Reed College in 2015. In the daytime he teaches art to second graders.