ABACUS, a large-scale multimedia presentation by Early Morning Opera under the direction of Lars Jan, features Paul Abacus and his re-imagining of Buckminster Fuller's Geoscope as a data cathedral for the masses. This Geoscope expands on Fuller's dream of a data visualization device that would comprehensively model the Earth's 'vital statistics,' historic patterns, and future projections. Aided by this device and a chorus of Steadicam operators, ABACUS argues the obsolescence of national borders and proposes their dissolution while simultaneously acting as a study in two dominant forms of persuasive discourse today: the TED-style (slide-based) presentation and megachurch media design.
ABACUS serves as an interrogation of the art of persuasion as a catalyst for cultural evolution, examining the moment that data — distilled, visualized, spun — yields a visceral, rather than merely conceptual, impact. Fueled by our content-saturated, data-driven, personality-obsessed moment, ABACUS explores the fundamental intention of 'beautiful evidence' and the reliability of the presentation format that drives our culture.
October 1–2, 2010
Curator: Kathleen Forde