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The Underlying is a body of work by Ami Clarke
shown here exhibited in the
London Open at Whitechapel gallery, London, 2022.


including the works:
Lag Lag Lag (video interface with live sentiment analysis),
(Virtual Reality with live sentiment analysis),

The Prosthetics (prosthetic optics, blown glass),
sand drift - installation and sound work with Paul Purgas

PRESS 2022

Reputation Regimes
by Emily Rosamond in Art Monthly Nov 2022.


The article includes some great writing on Lag Lag Lag part of the body of work: The Underlying, alongside works by Ben Yau, and Bahar Noorizadeh, scrutinising the authoritarian origins of neoliberalism and how this playbook is still very much in evidence today.

Emily Rosamond argues that the internet’s power to financialise information might be its undoing. Today’s so-called ‘post-truth’ moment might better be called a moment of mass online reputation warfare: a moment in which online reputation becomes an infinitely, ubiquitously tactical field.


The Underlying was commissioned by arebyte gallery in 2019 and exhibited at the gallery Sept-Nov 2019

The work in The Underlying utilises live sentiment analysis of online news production and social media, relating to BPA’s (Bisphenol A*) to consider how surveillance, rather than a rogue element of capitalism, enmeshes with the effects of market forces upon the environment, happening at a molecular level.  

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arebyte gallery 2019

The Underlying - installation shots at arebyte gallery - close-up details of graphs, twitter feed / news analysis / pricing model, around 08.14


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press release


The Underlying

Ami Clarke

Exhibition 19 Sept - Sat 16 Nov
arebyte gallery


arebyte Gallery are pleased to announce The Underlying, a new body of work by Ami Clarke,

commissioned by arebyte gallery 2019,

that includes:

Derivative (Virtual Reality, with live sentiment/emotion analysis re BPA's),

Lag Lag Lag (video interface with live sentiment/emotion analysis re BPA's),

and The Prosthetics (prosthetic optics, blown glass)

surround sound work by Ami Clarke and Paul Purgas

and sand drift installation.


The work focuses on capitalism’s implicit role in environmental disaster, through the relationship of the past to the future in the contractual conditions of both insurance and the derivatives markets.  The financiers tool of ‘sentiment analysis’ of on/offline news media, permits a view into the rise and fall in reputation, as insurance companies lose their appetite for underwriting companies dealing in the production of pollutants.  Market forces develop green bonds and other instruments that attempt to financialise environmental problems and underlying assets, even further, as markets become, increasingly, as volatile as the weather. Meanwhile, the extractive protocols of the meme that is capitalism; ‘platform’, ‘surveillance’, late, as well as ‘disaster’, and the free market ideologies that underpin this, point to extractive relations borne of colonialism, with legacies often to be found in geographical locations with projections of the most volatile environmental futures. 

Clarke’s video work Lag Lag Lag utilises live sentiment analysis of online news production and social media, relating to BPA’s (Bisphenol A*) to consider how surveillance, rather than a rogue element of capitalism, enmeshes with the effects of market forces upon the environment, happening at a molecular level.  Working with former derivatives trader Jennifer Elvidge, and programmer Rob Prouse, the video work co-opts the financiers tool of sentiment analysis, that informs financial decisions on a daily basis, to develop a live interface in the gallery space. Subsequent analysis of news relating to BPA’s, maps the rise and fall of reputation in real time, whilst weather futures contracts, pollution data, and the FTSE, plot the fluctuations in stock price of the top 100 polluting companies in the world.

* (Bisphenol A - a chemical compound and synthetic oestrogen produced in the manufacture of plastics, recently found to be in water supplies the world over).

With thanks to:  Matteo Cianchetti and Cecilia Laschi from The BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa), Dr Jeremy Pilcher and others at the Birkbeck School of Law, Mark Stokes (CGI), Rob Prouse (programming), Paul Purgas (sound), Phoebe Stubbs and Markus Grimm (glasswork), Sam Capps and Sam Thompson (VR), Mally Mallinson and assistants (sand), Rebecca Edwards, Nimrod Vardi, Claudel Goy, Chris Mcinnes, and Philip K Dick.

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Pandemonium, do androids dream of? by Ami Clarke

The work conists of:

VR environment with sound work (scroll down for 3D capture)

twitter bot @trackntracer, deployed as a ‘research assistant’

online dashboard on the Beyond Matter ZKM Karlsruhe site

The work was developed during the Beyond Matter residency at art and media organisation: ZKM, Karlsruhe Germany, with material also developed during a ‘risk’ related residency at Radar, Loughborough, with an essay that addresses many of the key themes, that you can read here.

During the Beyond Matter residency Ami Clarke was interviewed by Felix Koberstein (ZKM) just after having discussed the work with the artist and theoretician Emily Rosamond, who lent the work some great insights included in the interview


You can download the publication accompanying the Beyond Matter residency here *Beyond Matter, Within Space. Curatorial and Art Mediation Techniques on the Verge of Virtual Reality*, which offers a comprehensive overview of the multifaceted research activities conducted by the Beyond Matter partners and takes a deeper look at the enfoldments of virtual reality. In interviews, scholarly essays, and other texts, the authors document the project outcomes and expand on its theoretical foundations.


brief precis


The work takes the defining medium of our age: ‘animation’ (Deborah Levitt) to the next level in VR. Utilising the affects of a cartoon world, where the unlikely is entirely probable, a troop of deer break into a syncopated dance routine, whilst flying plastic gloop speaks of ‘emergence’, in a world that has become way too lively by far.


The thorny question of emergence is oft-imagined as an untapped burst of creative potential, with Silicon Valley valorising emergent properties in order to profit from unethically derived data, whilst the reality that disruption brings forth, is often far from beneficial for humans. Drawing from the markets oft-used phrase of animal spirits, to describe the ‘inexpressible’ drive: the life source of the markets – the work engages with what this might mean if we took vitalism to an absurd degree, to grasp something of the ‘vital realism’ that our technologically assisted sensorial range now affords, as we emerge in synthesis with our environment.


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PandemoniumVR (360 video) by Ami Clarke


360 degree capture from inside the VR - player pov

(please note that the actual VR environment is an immersive 3-dimensional space - the experience is not like a video at all)

An Ami Clarke: Xeno-Studio production.

Special thanks to Luke Weston for all his assistance,

as well as Diana Finley, Rob Prouse, Junnichi Suko, and Francois Kirmann Gamaury.

Thanks also to AccuCities for their enormous generosity.

Special thanks to Lívia Nolasco-Rozsas and Felix Koberstein at ZKM.


The Prosthetics (ocular prosthetics, blown glass)


The Prosthetics are three sculptures made of ocular prosthesis – glass eyes – that cluster together, looking out from the corners of the galleries architecture.  Reminiscent of organic organisms, they draw reference from the Fates, the three sisters forced to share one eye between them.  Suggestive of the surveillance that drives data analysis, they also point to the limited resources of a dwindling biosphere, but also to the collective approach necessary to face the challenges ahead regarding environmental change.


The eyes were blown by a glass blowing expert in human glass eyes, usually involved in the production of human ocular prosthetics for medical purposes, in Germany. I then worked with another glass expert in the UK to produce the intricate organic cluster effect.  We spent four days cold-working the eyes with other blown glass spheres, at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland, to produce the three organic clusters.  

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The work in The Underlying utilises live sentiment analysis of online news production and social media, relating to BPA’s (Bisphenol A*) to consider how surveillance, rather than a rogue element of capitalism, enmeshes with the effects of market forces upon the environment, happening at a molecular level.  


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