The latest exhibition by Janek Simon at Raster has an open struc­ture. Instead of a traditional, arran­ged showing of com­pleted artistic objects, we are given a process, a situation sug­gesting a visit to the studio, where we can observe “live” the chan­ging progress of work on each project. The artist is present, and the situation in the gal­lery chan­ges from each day to the next. This approach is an attempt to find a more appropriate form of com­munication with viewers in the post-​epidemic reality—a form exten­ded in time and focused on dialogue. But it also arises naturally out of the peculiarities of Simon’s artistic and quasi-​artistic prac­tices, in which the adop­ted method of proceeding and the activity itself always take precedence over the more-or-less per­manent, material result. The theme around which each of the initiatives cen­tres is the new set of works from the Syn­thetic Folk­lore series.


In his unique prac­tice as a travel­ler, thin­ker, anar­chist and artist, Simon per­sisten­tly tests the possibilities of artificial intel­ligence. His quest is not aimed at resolving a specific issue but to the con­trary, often aims at heigh­tening com­plications. Wor­king with con­tem­porary algorithms, Simon con­tinues to pursue what was the domain of art in the age of moder­nism: to expand the fields of experimen­tation and freedom.


The main sub­ject of his interest is issues of post-​global and post-​colonial iden­tity inter­woven into everyday economic, political and cul­tural dilem­mas. In the works from the Syn­thetic Folk­lore series, Simon uses an algorithm he developed drawing on hun­dreds of traditional pat­terns of fabrics and car­pets to generate entirely new com­positions. The latest works from this cycle offer the paradoxical effect of depth achieved through super­im­posing numerous layers of flat pat­terns. The mul­ticoloured horror vacui of these mosaics cut from acrylic discs simulates the dynamic of ever-​accelerating cul­tural proces­ses, the radical con­gestion and inter­penetration of various codes ultimately generating the illusion of opening up new spaces. This per­spec­tive is ambivalent, offering no stable conc­lusions. It is rather a con­tem­porary, global vortex.


Simon employs his machine-​learning prac­tice fur­ther in a new series of sculp­tures which are to be created during the course of the presen­tation at Raster. He thus radicalizes his approach, tur­ning over to the algorithm the right of creation of three-​dimensional objects. Here artificial intel­ligence generates shapes of a new, univer­sal folk­lore. It is hard to resist the impres­sion that this occurs through the prin­ciple of self-​fulfilling prophecy.


Janek Simon (born 1977) is one of the most original artists of his generation. His works reflect on the chan­ging economy and cul­ture in the era of globalization. The objects and instal­lations he creates often inc­lude an experimen­tal and anar­chist dimen­sion, illustrating the col­lision between scien­tific theories and everyday reality. The retrospec­tive of his works entitled Syn­thetic Folk­lore (curated by Joanna Warsza) was the high­light of the past year at Warsaw’s Ujaz­dow­ski Castle Centre for Con­tem­porary Art. The upcoming exhibition at Raster coin­cides with the release of the first monograph book on the artist (published by Ujaz­dow­ski Castle Centre for Con­tem­porary Art and Stern­berg Press), which we also recommend.

current exhibitions

Janek Simon


Opening 6 June 2020
12 noon – 6:00 pm



Recently was published the first monograph of the artist "Synthetic Folklore"


The works were shown as part of the virtual initiative not cancelled Warsaw