The title of the exhibition originates from many references including Malevich’s iconic black square painting. The square by Malevich can be understood as the turning point of representation and distortion. The role of the black square in his philosophy Suprematism is thus analogous to the role of the number zero in Peano arithmetic, or the role of the empty set in the set-theoretical construction of mathematics. The blank canvas is now one embedded with a microcosm of fragments of sedimentary abstract and obtuse content.
In this body of work, Bradley takes images from the daily news and manipulates them digitally using custom brushes made in Photoshop. The resulting image is then interpreted by a 100-year-old industrial mechanical loom which renders the works using only red green and blue threads, almost like a woven screen or monitor.
Creating groundwork for the first computer algorithms, weaving patterns and card computing use mathematics as a base to create structured surfaces create a woven or a digital image. Like an average color pixel zone, each weave is made from a different thread of color and depth of the line, which dictates the perceived color at a distance. Smartphone screens still work on this principle.
In The Square Bradley addresses the numbing effect that online advertising has rendered on our attention span, to almost not see what we are seeing. It’s as if we can tune out or filter reality as we become incapable of processing all content. If content then becomes a zero point, we find ourselves always already staring at a blank canvas. Global news is supposed to be base reality, ground zero, however due to constant manipulation it is now more akin to a distorted version of itself. There is now a parallel between fake news and manipulation, or even fantasy. If a true zero point is no longer possible then this distorted and layered possibility has to be reimagined as a new abstract proposition. Zero is now loaded with content.