KOGAN, CRESCENTI, CANTONI
Kogan, Crescenti and Cantoni, artists with backgrounds in science, architecture and cinematography, work in Sao Paulo, where they study the interrelations between humans and computers, science and art. “Agua” is a tactile-visual interface that transforms the cupolaed space of the Optika Pavilion by imitating the caustic effect. Raquel Kogan, Leonardo Crescenti and Rejane Cantoni invite us to walk through the water. Take off your shoes outside the installation and immerse yourself in the illusion of a walk along the sea bed. “Agua”, in contrast to the work of the “ATK!” duo, forms a peaceful and meditative picture of the future.
DIKKER AND OOSTRIK
MUTUAL WAVE MACHINE
Presented by the Marina Abramovic Instituteand TodaysArt
What does it mean to lose oneself in someone else? How is it possible that the mere physical presence of another human can make us believe we can conquer the world, or make us feel lonely and incapable? Does human interaction mediated by technological interfaces affect communicative success? The” Mutual Wave Machine” is an interactive neurofeedback installation that embodies the elusive notion of “being on the same wavelength” with another person through brainwave synchronization. Enclosed by an intimate capsule and immersed in an audiovisual environment that responds and reflects their shared brain activity, two visitors can directly experience and manipulate their internal efforts to approach each other, or distance themselves from each other.
Michela Pelusio’s kinetic light sculpture illustrates the curvatures in the space-time of our universe, as an endless helix with rippling and vibrations. “SpaceTime Helix” is a resonator (a “stationary wave”) which recalls the appearance of interference waves, violin and guitar strings, and air vibrating in an organ pipe. Deviation from barriers, a return to the center of equilibrium and a new attempt to push its limits — Pelusio’s installation illustrates the wave principle throughout history: from genetic code (DNA), to the development of scientific thought and our understanding of the universe. Observe the wave, touch it or control it. Using the helix control box, you can change the sculpture, the speed and color of its movements, its sounds and its images.
LA GRANDE UTOPIE (WHITE)
MAN HOLE (ICON)
Ivan Navarro uses neon and mirrors to create sculptures and installations that are relevant to timely socio-political questions. The shut door and hatch shown at the exhibition are part of a series of mirrored works. These objects are metaphors for “losing oneself” in the endless expanse of the past and future. Navarro does a masterful job of intriguing and, possibly, frightening the visitor: in any case, the reaction of a person who discovers an abyss under his feet (“Man Hole”) is completely predictable and explainable — as is the subsequent delight.
HOME MOVIES 1040
“Home Movies 1040” views the future from the past: in Jim Campbell’s work, old memories, digitized old film reels chronicling family celebrations and children’s games, go through the process of being “blurred” in time. A maximal blur effect makes familiar faces and objects barely discernible — they are projected with the help of a highly-diluted LED screen that faces the wall with its back to the viewer. Light flows of various intensity project blurred spots onto the wall, in which, only from a distance of 7 meters, can one came make out the contours of faces. “Home Movies 1040” (1040 is the number of light-emitting diodes) arouses a sense of nostalgia, the desire to come closer to the screen — but getting closer immediately “erases” memories from the field of vision.
PASSAGE, HOTEL ROOM, SICK BUILDING
Bernd Oppl depicts the standard hotel corridors and rooms, which, at first glance, look like mock-ups for film sets, except that something is off in them. “Passage” elicits a prolonged sense of uncertainty and uneasiness, of anxious empathy, a premonition of something — the kind of state that accompanies the viewing of well-made thrillers and horror movies. Bernd Oppl makes masterful use of suspense in gradually transforming the state of outwardly prosaic spaces. For example, in the video “Hotel Room”, the artist slowly freezes a hotel room. In “Sick Building” (literally an “abnormal” building), a white jelly-like substance seeps across an empty corridor, yet the drops violate all the laws of gravity and flow upwards. All of this allows the artist to provoke viewers’ emotional involvement in the process of studying spatial models and to elicit empathy for the fates of their invisible inhabitants.
TIM NOBLE AND SUE WEBSTER
From a specific angle, a ray of light directed at Noble and Webster’s sculpture reveals the work’s hidden silhouette on the wall behind. The artists use light as a metaphor for the transforming power of art and self portrait projections appear on the wall. During the entire course of their careers, Noble and Webster have been interested in the psychology of perception and people’s interpretation of abstract images. In their 17 years of work together thus far, Noble and Webster have created an entire series of anti-monuments that combine the techniques of contemporary sculpture and punk strategies. Clashing opposites is the basis of their method: recognizable forms and formless masses, high and popular culture, the masculine and the feminineare pulled together.
LIMIT OF EVERYTHING
Conrad Shawcross’s complex mechanical system deploys three independent sources of light on the end of three articulated mechanical arms. A fixed algorithm synchronizes their movements in various directions. Thanks to this, the borders of the space in which the object functions are in constant flux which, in turn, appears to effect the size of the room it is placed. As the lights expand and contract from their centre, the constant rotation of the whole system extrudes a perfect spiral in space. Due to the use of analogue gears and pure ratios the paths created contain many wheels within wheels and many sinusoidal speeds , slowly yet powerfully opening and closing in the space.
“ATK!” [uh-tak] – the duo of Ofer Smilansky and Isjtar bring experimental musical methods and live improvisation to the territory of contemporary art. “ATK!” uses harsh sounds, pulsing light and the specifics of a space to reconstruct a dramatic audiovisual portrait of the future. “ATK!” achieves the effect of visitors’ maximal physical presence in an apocalyptic future thanks to the principle of immersion — simultaneous multidirectional impact on various sensory channels (vision, hearing, touch). The din of electrical fuses and short circuits permeates the hall, pavilion and body of the city. The minimalist electronic music of “ATK!”, the light and architecture that are transformed by them, work in synergy as a decoder of our perception, pushing unconscious reactions to the forefront.
We feel through the mind and see through the skin. “Dissonant Equilibrium” by Isabelle Andriessen is an investigation on the enigmatic character of vision. What is the role of our senses in affecting the threshold between physical and perceptual realities? Hallucinations, imagination, and ‘real seeing’ are essentially the same thing as far as the brain is concerned. How to touch space? How to smell time? In the capsule green and blue light is used as matter to experience and affect the nature of perception. Scientific research has revealed that blue and green wavelengths penetrate the skin and therefore influence hormone secretion, heart rate, alertness, sleep rhythm and body temperature. Stepping into the capsule one enters a zone of intensified presence, a sensation of vertigo.