Simon Ingram

Simon Ingram

Terrestrial Assemblages (Simon Ingram with Kamahi Electronics, Verdi NZ, and Acryform)

Sapflux Monitor, 2024

Kawa poplar, sap sensor, cabling, solar panel and assembly, charge controller, battery, microcontrollers, code, RGB LED matrix panel, and plexiglass

Courtesy Gow Langsford Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland.

With support from Chris and Charlotte Swasbrook, and Kamahi Electronics.

Simon Ingram draws on approaches from artificial life, brain science, robotics, radio astronomy, and earth-system science.  For many years, he has been making paintings by systemic, mechanical, and electronic means. The gridded compositions of his early Automata Paintings were arrived at using simple algorithms. Later, he developed painting machines that generated novel compositions in response to low-frequency atmospheric waves and high-frequency cosmic waves. Ingram has become increasingly involved in environmental concerns. In 2019, he formed Terrestrial Assemblages, a contemporary-art-based ecological working group, to create awareness of natural systems. Terrestrial Assemblages’ Sapflux Monitor visualises sap flow in a kawa tree, and the humidity and air temperature around it, using an assembly of sensors, microcontrollers, and code. It demonstrates dynamic processes within the tree, as it responds and deals with climatic conditions, in situ and in real time.

Simon Ingram (b.1971) lives in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland. He completed a doctorate at Te Waka Tūhura Elam School of Fine Arts in 2006 and joined Gow Langsford Gallery in 2008. In 2019, he formed Terrestrial Assemblages, bringing together specialists from different fields, to develop art-science-based works. With the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Taranaki iwi, Terrestrial Assemblages is currently developing work addressing water quality. Ingram’s international group exhibitions include Minus Space, PS1 MoMA, New York, in 2008; My Eyes Keep Me in Trouble, Kunstverein Medienturm, Graz, in 2009; Contact, Frankfurter Kunstverein, in 2012; and Open Codes, ZKM, Karlsruhe, in 2017. His recent shows include The Algorithmic Impulse, City Gallery Wellington, in 2021; Machine in the Garden, Whangārei Art Museum, in 2022; Rhythms of the Brain with NZ Trio, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, in 2022, and Auckland Art Gallery, in 2023; and Colour Masses in the Fourth Dimension, Gow Langsford Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland, in 2023.