Amanda Beech
Final Machine, 2013
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
22.10.14 – 04.01.15

The late 1960s, a time of ideological struggle and social activism, are a reference point for a number of artists in the Biennale. In Final Machine, Amanda Beech draws inspiration from French Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser’s lectures “The Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists,” delivered in Paris in the months immediately preceding the May 1968 uprising: lectures that sought to reposition philosophy as a revolutionary weapon. The three-channel video and architectural installation counterposes Althusser’s critique with excerpts from the script of Miami Vice and a CIA indoctrination lecture. The effect is discordant yet unified through the insistent declarations of a single narrator, whose voice appears mediated by a radio communications system.

The voiceover, which follows the video as it moves from screen to screen, is punctuated by gunfire, metaphorically ricocheting off the three references. The narrator’s authoritative “bullet points” link to visuals of deserts, jungles and freeways, intermittently perforated by the dot form. The claustrophobic and oppressive scenario established feels omnipresent, thereby resisting allusions to history or possibilities of escape through an alternative future. Final Machine both simulates and pushes against a disordered and overdetermined world where conflicting and shorthand constructs of reality are engendered by language and representation.
–GB

Amanda Beech, Final Machine, 2013, three-channel video installation with sound, dimensions variable, 45 minutes (courtesy of the artist; special thanks to Sadie Kerr, Lanchester Gallery Projects, Coventry, UK)
Amanda Beech, Final Machine, 2013, three-channel video installation with sound, dimensions variable, 45 minutes (courtesy of the artist; special thanks to Sadie Kerr, Lanchester Gallery Projects, Coventry, UK)
Biography

Born in Cheshire, UK, in 1972, Amanda Beech is an artist and writer whose work has been exhibited internationally. Her recent solo exhibitions include Everything Has Led to this Moment, Xero, Kline & Coma, London (2014); Final Machine, Lanchester Gallery Projects, Coventry, UK (2013); The Church The Bank The Art Gallery, Banner Repeater London (2012); and Sanity Assassin, Spike Island, Bristol, UK (2010).

Her work has also been exhibited in numerous group shows, including EVA International, Ireland’s Biennial, Limerick (2014); Asymmetrical Cinema, Beaconsfield Gallery, London (2013); The Objects of Culture, Ha Gamle Prestagard, Norway (2013); and (Past Present) Future Tense, Center for Living Arts, Mobile, AL (2013). Among her recent publications are Final Machine, Urbanomic (2013) and Sanity Assassin, Urbanomic (2010). She has also contributed essays to the recent anthologies Realism, Materialism, Art, Sternberg Press (2014); Speculative Aesthetics, Urbanomic (2014); and The Flood of Rights, Merve (2013). Beech regularly speaks at conferences and symposia. She presented keynotes for “Generative Constraints,” London (2013) and “Exhibiting Video,” London (2012). She was in residency at Fieldwork: Marfa, in Marfa, TX, this summer.

Beech is Dean of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and lives and works in Los Angeles.

www.amandabeech.com

Videos
Panel: Skawennati, Amanda Beech, Jillian Mayer, Hito Steyerl - BNLMTL 2014