On the Question of Objects –“Imagined Field from the Deconstruction of an Apparatus”


  • Ben Bogart





object, machine learning, collage, boundary-making, photography


This text is an artistic companion to the accompanying collages where complexity, ambiguity, emergence, and abstraction are emphasised. Through artistic practice I investigate the primacy of objects and their relations. Consistent with Barad’s Agential Realism, objects are constructed through their relations. This conflicts with a capitalist and colonialist view where objects pre-exist relations and are that which can be extracted, used and/or consumed. The images herein are composed from fragments of photographs taken at a particle accelerator facility where fragment boundaries are constructed by a machine learning algorithm. Images are composed by placing fragments according to their relationships using a second machine learning algorithm that emphasises some boundaries and dissolves others. These layers of boundary-making are analogous to cognitive processes where the objects of thought are proxies for complex relations. This is the crux of our contemporary era; social and material complexity cause us to attend to objects at the detriment of the systems that allows those objects to be.

How to Cite

Bogart, B. (2022). On the Question of Objects –“Imagined Field from the Deconstruction of an Apparatus”. Cubic Journal, 5(5), 14–29.



Author Biography

Ben Bogart

Dr. Ben Bogart is a non-binary adisciplinary artist working with generative computational processes and has been inspired by knowledge in the natural sciences in the service of an epistemological inquiry. Ben has produced processes, artifacts, texts, images and performances that have been presented at galleries, art festivals and academic conferences internationally. Notable exhibitions include solo shows at the Canadian Embassy at Transmediale in 2017 and the TechLab at the Surrey Art Gallery in 2018. Their research and practice have been funded by both art and research councils. Ben holds both master’s and doctorate degrees from the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University. During their master’s study (2006–2008) they began their artistic inquiry of machine learning and developed a site-specific artwork manifesting a cognitive theory of creativity. In their doctoral work (2009–2014) they made “a machine that dreams” that is a model of dreaming and a site-specific artistic work.


Barad, Karen. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning . Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007.