Self portrait stereogram

Peter Santi

BAHons. Fine Art, Falmouth 1996 - 1999

Foundation, Hackney College 1995 1996

Previous Shows

Goutez l’Art à St Saturnin les Apt N°1, St Saturnin les Apt 84 France 2019

Voir Ecouter, 6th Edition, Rustrel 84 France - 2018

La Paix, L’Atelier de Chaupierre, St Saturnin les Apt 84 France - 2018

Cabinet de curiosites, Les Ateliers du Portail St Saturnin les Apt 84 France - 2017

Artcore Artists collective, Group show, London, UK - 2014

Burning houses magazine 2010

River Politi Studios, Gallery Show, London UK - 2010

Mutate Britain Winter Exhibition , London UK - 2009

One foot in the Grove Gallery show, London UK - 2009

Newham Mayors Show Sculpture garden residency, London UK - 2009

11 Untitled Show Menier Gallery, London UK - 2009

Beautiful Landscapes 3Bedfordbury Gallery, London UK - 2009

11 Untitled Show, The Troubadour Gallery, London UK - 2008

Rivington Gallery, Summer Show London UK - 2006

The Brady Centre Whitechapel, I had to look twice, Solo Exhibition London UK- 2006

Springer-Croke Gallery, The Sacred Prostitute, Gallery Show, San Francisco USA- 2006

Windsor Arts Centre, Solo Exhibition, Windsor UK- 2006

Hackney Museum, Summer salon, London UK 2005

Wharf rd. artists collective, Installation and gallery show, London UK - 2004

Temporary Autonomous Artists Exhibition London UK - 2004

Site-specific Installation, Hoxton, London UK- 2004

Temporary Autonomous Artists Exhibition, London, UK 2003

Glastonbury Festival of the Arts, Site specific installation, Pilton UK - 2003

Terminator 3, UK Film premiere after party, Installations, London, UK- 2003

Temporary Autonomous Artists Exhibition London - 2002

Rivington Gallery, Site-specific Installation, London, UK - 2001

Labour Party Conference, Site-specific Installation, Brighton, UK 2001

Lizard Eclipse Festival Site-specific Installation and Art direction, The Lizard, Cornwall UK - 1999

Graduate Degree Show, Falmouth College of Art Falmouth, UK -1999

Mid Stream, Falmouth College of Art, Falmouth, UK-1998

Royal Cornwall Polytechnic society, Gallery Residency Falmouth UK - 1998

Jacob’s Ladder Site-specific Installation Falmouth UK- 1998

Portrait of a projector, photography 2008


The consideration: The Technium and the Polymorphic conscious.

The response: By James Scarborough

Nourished on wistful humor and piercing intelligence, Peter Santi’s work embarks on a quixotic journey through a world re-configured by human interaction with machines that erase distinctions between nature, artifice, human, machine, and gender.

It advances powerful commentary on the way that machines (not just computers but everyday tools, as well) have not just always been something external, available for use, but which have become, whether we know it or not, extensions of our consciousness. The work magnificently combines the poetic and aesthetic vigor of Andre Bretons doctrinal Surrealism and the conceptual vigor of the writing of Donna Haraway and N. Katherine Hayes, cyborg theory scholars who reject the ideas of traditionally recognized boundaries (humans and animals, humans and machines) in favor of a hybrid articulation of the world. The ramifications of his work for a 21st century world are enormous: it suggests the mounting irrelevance of identity, particular feminist identity, kinship by gender, for instance, in place of affinity, kinship by structure,

Though tools have evolved from flint-edged axes to silicon-based computers, we’ve historically had to accommodate technology. Humans have always produced hybrid (human and tool) environments. An artistic example: cave drawings as external storage systems for ritual and protocol. What’s different is the notion that, as computers can be seen, with inroads into artificial intelligence, as becoming more lifelike, so too can humans now be reconceived as an intelligent machine with distributed cognitive systems, as becoming more machinelike, which is simply another way of saying we have as much in common with computers as computers do with us and the sooner we acknowledge that fact, the better.

Though the ideas it embodies are sophisticated and profound, Santi’s work is lyrical and playful; it’s fun, suggesting that the proliferation of virtual reality (gaming, Sim City, Second Life, Facebook and other social networking interfaces) and other digitally-engineered systems of human interaction is not as sinister as science fiction writers might have us think. Even without their philosophical underpinnings, each piece is arresting, coherent, and complete in its synthetic construction. Initial glances reveal a sense of bewonderment and awe. Power tools meld seamlessly into childrens toys; gliders constructed from prostitute calling cards float hopefully, errantly, through cloudy skies; clocks with and without dials play a significant role as the Other Thing in human relationships. In Santi’s painted universe, identity is relative, the utilitarian thingness of objects can be recast in the blink of an eye to reflect an enhanced consciousness as well as serve some purpose, the least of which is magic and transformation, which are two keen and appropriate effects of hybridization. Surrealist juxtapositions are not just the stuff of paintings and record album covers.

Both deadpan and whimsical, the spirit of this trippy (trippy as in voyage, trippy as in far-out) work can best be embodied in Powertoy No. 2. Representing an image of a saw blade connected to a rocking horse, it proposes a Max Ernst rendering of Don Quixote, armed with a lance, mounted on his steed, Rocinante. The piece brims with a sally-forth sensibility, suggesting a new and marvellous odyssey through a post-human world.

Take me away depicts dogfighting airplanes fabricated from prostitute calling cards, suggesting the anticipation of, well, bartered relief as well as personal safety which, because the planes are made of paper and thus fragile and because they possess no rudder and thus their airworthiness is unsound, is doomed to be short-lived, if that. Catching big fish with little nets shows a house constructed with lottery tickets, its landscape too, as seen from the vantage point of Take me away: an homage to the manner in which, via the collation of construction technology and gaming systems, we confuse hope with experience and, metaphorically, stand to bet our house and lose it. of the And Guillotine and till-cross constructs a machine - an execution device - and a ritualistic device - a pulpit - from the tickets, the reference to capital punishment as a result of the higher belief in the ritual of tithing (aka lottery ticket purchase) made obvious and not a little sad.

This deconstruction of boundaries between the human and the man-made sets the stage for a witty and far-reaching series of work. His Time and Date series, consisting of La Deuxieme Troisieme, I'm only going because you wind me up, and I see you in me, shows how the presence of a machine - an analog clock, but it could just as easily refer to the algorithm of an computer dating service - can introduce the presence of a third, cyborg party, which in turn, as Santi writes, could fuel the prospect of a ménage a trois . Together these three[sic] pieces reify Marcel Duchamps’ The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors Even, making a machine, not a human, the matchmaker in the eternal He/She drama.

Given this context, Santi’s work keenly describes the relationship between humans and the machines they create. The relationship he describes is symbiotic; its positive and upbeat, if at times a little frustrating. It heralds the inevitable coming to terms with increasingly powerful, increasingly human constructions but does so in a gentle, probing manner. Recent movies aside, the cyborg theory that informs and illuminates his work offers a 21st century aesthetic that, among other things, deliciously recasts the embodiment of Cupid from a cherub with a quiver full of arrows to an all-knowing, perfectly efficient, binary-based, digital chaperone attired in a silicon-threaded suit of natural selection: a Darwinian matchmaker, if you will because, dating-wise, it’s still a jungle out there.

James Scarborough, Huffinton Post 11.30.2010