Charles Atlas: The Mathematics of Consciousness

In the fall of 2022, Charles Atlas: The Mathematics of Consciousness debuted on the brick wall of Pioneer Works’ Main Hall. Combining original footage and segments culled from the artist’s extensive archives, the immersive video work extended across 100 feet of the institution’s interior architecture. The projected images flickered and toggled between numerical fantasies, dance sequences, abstract compositions, scientific ruminations, and internet memes—simulating and commenting upon memory, thought formation, and numerical expression.

Atlas has long been a pioneering figure in film and video, testing the limits of his medium and forging new territory through experiments in genre, style, and craft. Since his beginnings as filmmaker-in-residence for Merce Cunningham Dance Company during the early 1970s, Atlas has collapsed the barriers between dance, performance, and media, collaborating with a dynamic roster of creative figures to harness a distinctly ambidextrous position. ♩