Artists: A.S.T.R.A.L.O.R.A.C.L.E.S., Sam Bacile, Mike Bouchet, Vuk Ćosić, Constant Dullaart, Matt Johnson, Mi Kafchin, Daniel Keller, John Koenig, Marco Lavagetto, Lazaros, Mark Lombardi, Monarca Lynn Merrifield, Allen Midgette, Mike Morrell, Lucia Nimcova, Occult Forces, Oksana Pasaiko, Hamid Piccardo, Real Subliminal, Alexander Reben, Daniel R. Small, Raymond Steers, Hito Steyerl, Ingo Swann, John Titor, Brad Troemel, Andy Warhol
The exhibition Seeing Eye Awareness celebrates the artist as cultural clairvoyant, a shaman, as someone having a third eye opened unto the secrets of society, as someone we invite to reveal mystical truths. The artist's truest function has been to uncover mutations and anomalies. These are things that come from a place where language is insufficient or that crosses the border of consciousness, showing us culture’s bleeding edge.
There are multiple kinds of practices and artifacts in this exhibition that offer forms of revelation, fantasy and problem-solving that highlight today's slippery moment of belief. Some artists have cosmic or occult aspects to the work they make and others are ambassadors of mysticism and astral folklore, another group have gifted technological savvy and are outsourced by larger forces for research purposes with goals yet to be determined. The final category is of artists who I fantasize are in fact cultural operatives or moments of scripted avant-gardes.
Disclaimer: This is a fantasy, every detail. Don’t believe any of it. I’m making most of it up, especially the speculative bits. It should not be seen as a truth of any kind but rather the fictionalization of how the art world might be used as an experimental space for developing mind control. This is happening right now with the radicalization of the self. If you consider what we are making online as a supreme consciousness then I think an algorithm will certainly discover a master archetype: which for us will be the most beautiful mirror. It will be a sublime rapture of aesthetics, a Basilisk revealed to us by a push notification. Aaron Moulton
TThe Lavendula multifida is a wild lavender found mainly in two focus areas: southern Morocco and two specific places in southern Portugal. These two places, around Zwanikken's studio in the town of Mértola and the Serra of Arrábida near Lisbon, are known to have been long occupied by the Berber world in the Andalusian era. Was this precise distribution due to ecological affinities or dissemination by humans via migration? Zwanikken's approach is not to answer this question, but rather to give it a significant dimension by creating ways to observe a little more closely this plant with enigmatic geographical distribution. For this, he currently cultivates multifida from different places where they grow and examine their differences in behavior and their potential for adaptability. His work on multifida is part of a larger framework to combine scientific, technological and artistic means to make the intelligence of plants more easily perceptible. From root systems to volatile organic compounds, it's a whole world of science that scientists Frantisek Baluska, Stefano Mancuso and Anthony Trewavas discover and that is wonderful material for creative inspiration.
In order to explore all the potentialities of interaction with plants via different chemical or biological media, he is developing three main experiments. The first is the realization and improvement of a plant growth box, a sort of observatory where it will be possible to perceive multiple sensory dimensions of plant growth (root system, sap flow, respiration...). The second concerns the development of new types of kinetic gardens and the development of their interactive dimension. The third one is to develop mechanisms of atmosphere of essential oils ('Nose Patrol') by adapting fragrances to spaces.
'Kinetic Garden' presented at Kapelica is a vertical arrangement of a frame on which twelve hollow tubes are mounted. In each tube there are seventeen pots placed in which aromatic, medicinal and edible herbs are grown. The tubes are connected to an automated and sensor-controlled irrigation system that provides the plants with water. Two mechanical arms, each carrying a nebulizer and six light units, are guided by the plants in a computer-controlled manner in order to optimize the growing conditions.
'Nose Patrol' is a synaesthetic installation of movement, sound and fragrance. The installation consists of man-sized, computerized, mechanical sculptures that move around their horizontal and vertical axes while creating three dimensional aromatic clouds that are visible, audible and feelable (it generates controlled air turbulences). The scents are based on natural plant VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in the form of essential oils, floral waters and tinctures that are made by the artist.
Part of the plants are grown in the 'Kinetic Garden', the other (often rare) plants are collected by the artist in the wild on the grounds of a four hundred-year-old former Franciscan monastery in Portugal that he uses as a lab for studying and experimenting with natural processes. Sensors measure the surrounding quality of the air and location of the viewer, and according to the changes in local VOC's and peoples movements the sculptures react.
The installation explores the concept of using fragrance as a kinetic sculptural medium. It attempts to break through the daily overload of our limbic and hormonal system caused by synthetic, often toxic fragrances by bombarding the viewer/sniffer with healthy and save mood changing VOC's. It addresses more our where and when (the memory), and less our individual identity.
Guy Ben-Ary, Nathan Thompson, Andrew Fitch, Darren Moore, Stuart Hodgetts, Douglas Bakkum, Mike Edel
cellF' is a neural synthesizer, the first autonomous wet-alogue electronic instrument. The 'brain' of the project consists of a biological neural network that grows in a Petri dish and controls an array of analogue modular synthesizers in real time.
For over a decade Guy Ben-Ary has been working with the art group SymbioticA which operates in a unique art-research laboratory at the University of Western Australia. In this laboratory artists and scientist from around the world research, study and critically debate living systems.
First of all Guy Ben-Ary had a part of his skin removed from his arm. He cultivated his skin cells in vitro in the SymbioticA laboratory, and then he used special technology to transform these new skin cells into stem cells. These stem cells began to differentiate into a neural culture which enabled the emergence of 'Ben-Ary’s external brain'. The neural culture was placed into a multi electrode array (MEA), a dish with a grid of 64 electrodes. These electrodes can record the electric signals produced by the neurons and use these recordings to produce a sound portrait. When the project is exhibited in a gallery the sound signals are looped back as electric impulses which stimulate the cells to be active.
DUM Project Space, Ljubljana.
When the hero of the story is in his hometown, he learns that his uncle E. A., from a small town on a different yet close continent, has died. Fairly soon after E. A.’s death, the house is bought by a man called M. P. Contrary to the opinion of A. M., E. A.’s best friend and the architect who designed the original house, M. P .immediately removes all the furniture and objects, and completely rearranges the house and its surroundings. The sudden and radical changes are undertaken in unusual circumstances – at night, and behind closed doors and windows. M. P. also cuts down all the trees on the property. Such course of events surprises the main character, who decides to travel to the deceased’s hometown to look into the matter. Immediately upon arrival, he learns that M. P. has already left the country, so he pays a visit to his uncle’s friend, the architect A. M., who cannot explain the odd changes commissioned by M. P. Soon, he discovers that almost all residents avoid the part of the town where the house is. A local resident informs him that one night, when he merely glanced at the house, he saw something. There have been reports that a mauled and dissected missing dog was found in the house. On a rainy night, the main character is caught by a storm, so he must enter the mysterious house. Unexpectedly, the front door is open. The moment he enters, his nose can sense “a sweet but nauseating odour”. The uncomfortable feeling makes him turn on the lights. The moment light is cast onto the room, the main character notices shapes that do not correspond to any human figure or any conceivable use. As he cannot identify with anything he sees, he turns off the light and decides to stand in the darkness with his eyes completely closed. He stands there in “vacuum silence”, surrounded by incomprehensible things, and the infinite emptiness makes him turn on the light again. He stands at the end of the hall, in front of the entrance to a large, almost emptied room with ceilings. The room is cold, there are big white radiators under darkened windows, which have obviously not been used for a while. Neon lights, which are usually attached to the ceiling, are visibly lowered, hanging on wires about half a metre down. The wooden floors are almost fully covered with a relief of different heights, made of black artificial mass, so that it is almost impossible to walk evenly. Over the entire surface of the black relief are five, seemingly high-tech objects, which seem to be immersed into their environment and almost without function. Although they feature recognisable shapes or materials that can be encountered in everyday life, their current sensation, and particularly their dependence on the relief, is completely incomprehensible and not what one would expect. The main character thus finds himself having a new experience of material reality, his gaze making his former, passive sensation of seeking to identify an individual object, relief or black mass immediately more relative. From the cold room, the laboratory-like feeling, the main character ascends to the upper floor, where he continues to discover strange, incomprehensible objects and items of furniture, for example a tall long U-shaped table, with circular openings at the extremes. For a moment, it occurs to him that this may be the bed revealing the monstrous anatomy of the resident of the house. There is also a ladder with irregularly spaced rungs and a V of mirrors. He thinks that probably the most restricting thing in the world is the inability of the human mind to make comprehensible sense of different content. We live on a peaceful island of ignorance, in the midst of black seas of infinity, and we were never meant to travel far. Science and culture, each going its own way, have both helped and hurt us so far. However, one day when the hidden disassociated knowledge is revealed, more comprehensible views of our reality will emerge. All of a sudden, the rain stops, so the main character decides to leave. But at that very moment he hears the resident of the house moving between him and the exit. The main character begins to ponder about all these unusual objects, space, undefined time he has spent in the house and the arrival of the mysterious resident through almost existential questions. What must the resident of the house be like? What must it be seeking here, on this planet, which must have been no less horrible to it than it is to us?
From what secret regions of astronomy or time, from what ancient and now incalculable twilight, had it reached this small suburb on this very night? He becomes aware that if he wants to leave the room, he must meet the resident.. But this time, curiosity gets the better of fear, and, unlike before, his eyes remain open.
Avec : Maurizio Cattelan, César, Alberto Giacometti, Rodney Graham, Hans Haacke, On Kawara, Bertrand Lavier, Charles de Meaux, Frank Stella et Yan Pei-Ming.
Le Centre Pompidou a quarante ans, Le Consortium aussi. L’histoire des personnes, la mécanique des projets et l’entremise des artistes ont entrelacé leurs parcours en jouant des moments et des situations. Inoubliable, du fait même de sa générosité, l’invitation faite au Consortium d’exposer au Centre sur le principe d’une activation de sa collection prit en 1998 la forme d’un récit biographique actualisé. Exercice de mémoires, cet anniversaire conjoint de l’année 2017 aura l’apparence d’un recueil de nouvelles que traversent deux personnages prenant le temps et l’occasion de s’entretenir par le truchement des œuvres.