Ege Kanar

Ege Kanar

Born in 1981 in Istanbul, Ege Kanar studied at the Sabancı University Visual Arts and Communication Design Program; he received his graduate degree in Photography from the Academy of Performing Arts Prague (F.A.M.U.). He works part-time at the Bahçeşehir University Photography Department. In his works, Kanar focuses on the ontology of the lens-based images, the intermediary function of photographs in scientific disciplines, institutional structures, and various cultural practices; using archival photographs, texts, sounds, and video recordings, he produces projects around concepts of representation, memory, rhythm, scale, language, and materiality.


Algorhythm, which emerged during my time at SAHA Studio following a personal physiotherapy experience, focuses on the representations of the human body in large-scale datasets compiled for artificial intelligence research. The work links images borrowed from datasets with an approach that attempts to geometrically analyze musical rhythms through body mechanics and the notion of repetition.

Visual datasets collected from online sources by data mining methods or produced within controlled environments following specific guidelines consist of images brought together in order to improve the ability of neural networks to comprehend the physical world. These images are sorted by ghost users on various cheap labor platforms and used for the development of various applications in the fields of object recognition, motion analysis, public surveillance, and synthetic image generation. In this context, the body kept under surveillance by means of security cameras, mobile phones or medical technologies, appears as a sterile examination object whose physical features are reproduced constantly - a biometric entity that submits to the rule of mechanical rhythms.

Godfried Toussaint conceptualizes a new rhythm analysis method with an article he published in 2005. Based on the Euclidean algorithm, this approach seeks to formulate how a given number of beats can be distributed in the most even way within a defined time interval and makes use of a geometric notation that expresses time circularly. As Toussaint exemplified in his book "Geometry of Musical Rhythm" published in 2013, these “Euclidean rhythms” also overlap with the rhythmic patterns used in African, South American and Middle Eastern music. The circular diagrams in the book can also be associated with the architectural design of the panoptic structure developed by Jeremy Bentham in the 18th century. The circular layout of this building, which Bentham designed as a prototype for various disciplinary institutions such as schools, mental hospitals and prisons, seems to be the embodiment of an optical fantasy in which a single guard located at the center can simultaneously observe all the prisoners on the periphery. The metaphor of the Panopticon, which is commonly used in trying to understand today's surveillance society, derives its power not from the eternal existence of a central observer, but rather from the self-control mechanism imposed on individuals by the idea of being observed.

Algorhythm brings together videos edited from 3 datasets focusing on the human body, a 1287 bar rhythmic loop obtained from the permutations of 3 different rhythmic structures used by the AKA Pygmies, and a rehabilitation wheel used in the treatment of shoulder joint disorders. The installation looks for transitivities between concepts such as body, rhythm, pain, control and surveillance.


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