Pure Difference (2018, 22 min) 27 October 2018


Pure Difference asks us “What is a number?” It is the debut episode in Anti-Racist Mathematics and Other Stories, a series of learning tools towards a post-capitalist education system. Using the visual tropes of a tech-conference presentation, trashy YouTube video and film essay, Peters sifts the foundations of science and mathematics, to disclose how these languages buttress power and galvanize authority. From the notion of a ‘science of revolt’ declared by Brad Werner and contextualized by Donna Haraway, the history of the algorithm from al-Khwārizmī, Karl Marx’s mathematical manuscripts, to IBM’s present-day algorithm that is cited to distinguish refugees from terrorists, this series speculates on the make-up of technical languages and what they could become.

About the artist

Byron Peters is an artist and writer based in Vancouver. His collaborative and solo works take the forms of sculpture, text, sound, and video, and his research engages emerging technologies, economic imaginaries, prison education, and the histories of science. Exhibition venues include The Darling Foundry (Montreal), ICA Miami, Para Site (Hong Kong), The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (New York), The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and others. Two upcoming episodes from the video series Anti-Racist Mathematics and Other Stories will premiere in 2019.

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