Los Angeles

Haim Steinbach, Untitled (siri, kongs, antenna), 2019. Plastic-laminated wood shelf, Apple smart speaker, rubber dog chew, indoor television antenna, 53 × 58 1⁄2 × 12".

Haim Steinbach

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery | Los Angeles

A poet of the everyday, Haim Steinbach has been resituating consumer and handcrafted objects on individualized laminated-shelf constructions for some forty years. Akin to Gertrude Stein’s poetry (repetitive, surprising, full of precisely calibrated connotations), Steinbach’s sculptural syntax remains relevant in its capacities to filter and compress the sensory data of the contemporary world. In his most recent works, that syntax is literally vocalized: The artist has added voice-activated devices—Amazon’s Echo, Apple’s and Harman Kardon’s smart speakers—to the dog Kongs and thrift-store tchotchkes that appear across his focused and rebus-like oeuvre. This tactic both denigrates and aggrandizes the smart devices while illuminating the competing demands we place on technology: We now expect our tech to listen to us and to respond in kind—to be at once humble servant and intelligent

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