London artist Kyle Platts has based his new collection of work entirely on the psychological concept of pareidolia—where the human brain instinctively sees faces in inanimate objects, or patterns in random data. Playing on the brain's inherent ability to create something out of nothing, his comic strips present the viewer with a series of seemingly disconnected images that can be pieced together into an absurdist narrative.
Psychologists theorise that pareidolia once helped early humans recognise the faces of predators in the darkness of the jungle, but nowadays it mostly just helps us see weird shit that isn't there. In Platts' work, we are invited to create meaning from random and unrelated concepts—like a whipped cream dispenser (otherwise known as a "nanginator"), a helicopter, a DNA helix, an atomic bomb blast, a 7/11 coffee cup, and an iOS update. What they have in common is up to you.
The lofi monochromatic xerox prints invite their own meaning, but they're also powerful on a purely aesthetic level. Training at the Camberwell College of Art, Platts works as a freelance illustrator and artist, and he specialises in mixing the mundane with the absurd. He created the Pareidolia series on a three-month visit to Melbourne, where he embraced the city's love of a DIY printing aesthetic.
Check out three other strips from the series below.
Pareidolia opens at Melbourne's Spare Store gallery on February 23. You can find out more about Kyle Platts here.