HD video, stereo sound, 60" vertical screen, custom frame, video player
10 min loop
Edition of 6, 1 AP
"Matter" is the first piece in a new series of work that investigates objects with three-dimensional surface features. The subject of this piece is Rodin’s iconic 1902 sculpture “The Thinker”. "Matter" sets up a tension between physical and artificial reality, while exploring the geometric complexities of subtraction, the process of carving away from a block of material. A departure from Quayola’s past projects, in which he films and photographs his subjects directly, "Matter" originated with a computer graphic model of its subject. This 3-D model was constructed based on photos of the original sculpture, rather than using a scan or other techniques of capture. As a representation it is therefore susceptible to error, marking a shift in Quayola’s approach toward virtual space. While his past "Strata" series may emphasized perfection, this new body of work is interested in precision- specifically that of man-made crafts, those executed by hand with great skill.
It is perhaps significant that Rodin’s sculpture is considered today as a bridge between classical and modern times. While similarly utopian, Quayola’s video installation is born from a virtual place, one that can only be navigated on-screen. Our gaze in this piece is carefully guided and framed, traveling across the subject. The sense of time is suspended, as this piece explores process and volumetric transformation. Volume itself is treated as the raw material of this object, which can be represented in software with clouds of points. In this piece, Quayola algorithmically rearranges the density of these points, pushing his imagery toward spaces of geology and crystallization. He struggles with the varied shapes of his subject matter, constantly questioning it, re-forming it, and ultimately reaching no final state of completion. “The dimensional exploration of material is what interests me,” says Quayola. “What is the history of a material that its then shaped and transformed into new objects? Quite simply, how does matter come into existence?”
Commissioned by Audemars Pigeut, Le Brauss, Switzerland.
Debuted March 2012 in New York at the Park Avenue Armory.
Sound design by Matthias Kispert.
This piece can be displayed either vertically or horizontally.
THE TRAP is the continuation of my research around themes I have been exploring in my previous solo works. I have been focusing on the obsession with the "ideal/sucessful body", a kind of evolutionary canon structured by Western society based on the consumption of goods. I am intrigued by the ‘void’ that begins to appear as one passes from ‘private’ to the ‘public’ body. The ‘void’ could be a symptomatic and nihilistic loss that takes place in this transition, so that one can follow the canons in which we are all immersed, which propagate permanent contamination, based on the desire to "become" and “obtain”. These canons that propagate a desire, are particularly linked to ‘industry’ and ‘post-industry’, which gallop through virtual society, full of illusions and traps, wanting to keep us in a state of selfish entertainment so that some can triumph in the perverse game that is ‘contemporary society’. In a deeply empirical observation, I see people increasingly isolated in front of the screen, watching, sometimes appearing, with the simple purpose of being ‘objectified’ for the sake of a particular pleasure, to prove they exist and can, for a while, erase the burden of being ‘subject’. There is a certain pleasure in being passive, in being a ‘channel’ for desire. Television and other media are ideal platforms to prove that you "could" be a subject. The power of ‘image’ is terrifying, especially when associated with the body.
All societies impose to the individual, the desire to accomplish ‘something’ (usually already from an early age). Learning and coercion for the purpose of having social cohesion and peace to serve the needs of the industry, which creates social ‘standards’ to sell products (although the fragmentation of audiences and their specialization is still in development). We can highlight two verbs within this social and political learning that we are forced to memorize from childhood: "winning" and "getting". These verbs/desires blind us as much as they poison us. When reflection attempts to derail the gear to identify what is the origin of this ideology (because it seems the gem of the ideology of progress/capital), the conclusion is easily reached: this source does not serve a deep need, something that feeds our root, but it is instead useful to spread the merchandising of the great illusion, always in the form of distraction.
It seems that no matter how much we try to fight these normative "desires" that force us to our own entertainment in irrelevant surfaces (making us the actors of the old society of the spectacle), we never manage to escape and never absolutely (because absolution is impossible). Our own body becomes both "weapon" and "target" and we continue to perceive ourselves as a bionic machine because when we look at the mirror, we want to overcome ourselves, we want an intimate "public," we want to be the poster we see, even if that means stopping what we are. We aim to be transhuman or even posthuman to achieve an ideal body (both in terms of beauty and health) through technology and artifice.
Mariana Tengner Barros
A solo by MARIANA TENGNER BARROS
Artistic advisor: MARK TOMPKINS
Assisted by : ANTÓNIO MV and NUNO MIGUEL
Video: ANTÓNIO MV and MARIANA TENGNER BARROS
Texts: MARIANA TENGNER BARROS and NUNO MIGUEL
Costume: ANTÓNIO MV
Set: NUNO MIGUEL, ANTÓNIO MV and MARIANA TENGNER BARROS
Music : FILIPE LOPES
Dramaturgy collaborator: JOÃO MANUEL DE OLIVEIRA
Coproduction: CIRCULAR - FESTIVAL DE ARTES PERFORMATIVAS
Funded by CALOUSTE GULBENKIAN FOUNDATION
EIRA is supported by the GOVERNMENT OF PORTUGAL / DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR THE ARTS - STATE DEPARTMENT FOR CULTURE
Virtual data isn't subject to decay like traditional media. Despite this, we can still lose personal data to disk failure, viruses, or accidental deletion. Unlike personal data however, data on the internet has a seemingly infinite shelf-life. Between search-engine caching, cloud-hosting, re-blogging, plagiarizing, and the way-back machine, the net collects and eternally stores vast amounts of information.
Temporary.cc eschews this paradigm. For each unique visitor it receives, Temporary.cc deletes part of itself. These deletions change the way browsers understand the website's code and create a unique (de)generative piece after each new user. Because each unique visit produces a new composition through self-destruction, Temporary.cc can never be truly indexed, as any subsequent act of viewing could irreparably modify it.
Eventually, like tangible media, Temporary.cc will fall apart entirely, becoming a blank white website. Its existence will be remembered only by those who saw or heard about it.
more of my work is available at stfj.net
Temporary.cc was inspired by Jonah Bruker-Cohen's work on distributed network art at coin-operated.com/