Part of a long research on collective intelligence in nature and culture, Agnieszka Kurant’s The End of Signature is presented as a neon sign on the façade of Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel in São Paulo, where it will remain for about six months.
The piece addresses the substitution of individual authorship with hybrid, collective forms, as well as the decline of manual writing and its replacement by digital means of communication. To make this work, the artist collects signatures from members of various communities and aggregates them into a single inscription using software that she developed with a computer programmer. By developing these collective signatures for communities and social movements, Kurant explores the rising power of social capital, the aggregated value of which can be algorithmically calculated.
For the most recent iteration of this piece, at this moment of intense political polarization, Kurant collected signatures at Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel and Pivô, both in São Paulo, seeking to represent the collective identity of the Brazilian nationwide protest movement, fighting for justice, freedom and equality. Previous versions of The End of Signature have already been exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (2015) and at the Cleveland Museum of Art during FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art (2018), among others.