Chris Hamnett

Chris Hamnett is a Tasmanian College of the Arts (TCotA) graduate. He completed his BFA in 2010, Masters by Coursework in 2012 and Honours Research in 2013.


Pattern Recognition is at the core of modern life. From the mirror stage of the child to artificial intelligence and adaptive technology in the information society.

Having studied philosophical psychology, artificial Intelligence and the possibility of creating and mapping the human mind, my work deals with the overarching effect and influence that pattern recognition has on modern life. From data flows, the stock exchange, learning, the diagnosis of mental illness, dating apps, rating systems and systems of information storage that are bought and sold on consumers.

Pattern recognition allows for patterns to be recognised. Stimulus x is understood to indicate pattern y. This is how we learn and understand to use language in all its forms from verbal communication to the ability to read body language. We understand that position or statement x will correlate with answer or conclusion y. The same rules govern the way systems of control and data flows are arranged and decoded. Without pattern recognition the information society that we live in would not be possible.

My paintings are analogue examples that deal directly with the ramifications of pattern recognition and the the human element. Errors are, can and will be made. We make assumptions based on past learning, these assumptions can lead to errors in judgement and incorrect decision making. When I am painting I get caught up in the process, I will be counting out the number 118123 then the next thing I know I am painting 118125, without even being aware. Being human there is a predisposition to make and create errors. The question is, are these on purpose or are they mere anomaly’s that have their roots in the coding and developmental years as a child?

When looking at one of my paintings the viewer also is inundated with an abundance of an analogue data flow. Depending on the viewers eye movement each viewing is one the is not capable of being replicated. Each time the data is viewed the experience is different, no two viewings are the same. Creating an analogue matrix.

I have explored these ideas via a multitude of mediums from tweeting to from 1 to 180,000 as well as installation art and of late performance art that explores the fragility of pattern recognition and that of the human mind.

Can something organic and capable of original and contradictive thought and “unintentional” (internal bias?) – error –  ever be recreated or, ever modelled successfully via a system that is based on pure logic.

There are codes in everything…