"Intangible Interferences" Exhibition
This event has ended.
Intangible Interferences examines the temporal/spatial dynamics of resistance and depolarization in the relationship between politics, economics, language, and existence. By exploring the subtle forces of interference in situations of translation, geopolitics, economics, culture, ecology, topography, and human experience, artists become interfering strangers that re-situate by destabilizing preceding forces. Re-situating is de-propriating sites. Re-situating as free play redefines the schemata of co-appearances.
resingXruiz's kinetic sound piece and installation, "Is the world flat?" (2010), muses on Thomas L. Friedman's seminal book, The World is Flat, which examines globalization in the 21st Century. The two-channel sound that is part of the their installation samples and morphs Friedman's official English audio book and counters it with a pirated Spanish text-version, downloaded for free, and transcribed into audio by the artists. Each audio track is projected through speakers hung above a uses the original audio book in English and another version in Spanish created and altered by the artists. Each audio track is projected through speakers that are hanged above a traditional, vintage, two-armed weight scale that weights the audio and electronic frequencies emitted from each speaker. In doing so, the parable of flatness, acted out by the tenuousness of a truly balanced scale, creating an even horizon line, tests the book's premise of evenhanded globalization amidst the growing non-translatable aspects of culture and their relationship to capitalism.
xurban_collective's video installation The Cracked Sea of Marble (2009) is an anti-media statement in which revealing is hiding, spectacle is oblivion. Sea of Marble is part of the ongoing research about seas as defined by various manifestations of the global trade and economy, and by the flow of bodies as a possibility for retributive justice. In their single channel video, looking out from an imperial vista located in the Topkapi Palace, in Turkey, the Marmara Sea extends towards the horizon and conspicuously hides and reveals our innermost fears. Underneath the surface of the water, the Northern Anatolian fault is breeding silently. The Marmara Sea has witnessed many catastrophes since Prokopius, in the sixth century; various earthquakes, coup d'états, punishments and executions on its islands. Following the same line of sight, one can see further devastations around the seas where people are killed by thugs in the name of national security.
Christopher K. Ho's performance piece "Accidental Racism" (2010) creates an interference in real time, during the exhibition's opening, as well as plays on historical instances of interference, defined here in part as an awkward encounter. A young, dreadlocked Caucasian male, seemingly slightly stoned, wanders around the opening while cradling a chainsaw-carved BET Award, designed in 2001 by graffiti pioneer Mare139 for the Black Entertainment Television network. A plaque affixed to the award identifies it as belonging to Jesse Owens, winner of four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (as well as, coincidentally, an homophone for J.C., the nickname of the grandfather of the dreadlocked performer, Grady Owens). Jesse Owens is grounded in watershed moments of African-American politics, but also plays with "accidental racism" to explore possibilities of contemporary interference. It approaches political art as less decisive and polemical than it is assimilated, borrowed, watered-down and, perhaps, successful.
Jesal Kapadia's Ditto or 'the same as what has been said' (2009-present) explores the idea that repetition is rupture, and rupture is interference. In this ongoing series of digital prints consisting of pairs of images searched from the Internet that evoke an uncanny formal alliance to some key artworks (by artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys, Buckminster Fuller and Robert Smithson to name a few), the artist proposes that sometimes a translation or the copy is so true it unnerves the original. Reflecting the role of a contemporary flâneuse, Kapadia creates disturbances and puts to good use these remarkable experiments in the history of western avant-garde art with their global non-art counterparts (for example a biogas kiln, or a pedal-operated water pump). Through these suggestive pairings that are sometimes awkward and sometimes complimentary to each other, but mostly surprising and hopefully even inspiring, the viewer is presented with a game of finding similarities and differences: a tension between authenticity and imagination that hauntingly blurs boundaries of art and life.
Susan Jahoda's Excerpts from Serenade to the Photosphere (2008) is a series of digital prints of Internet images and texts addressing the consequences of pollution on our planetary environment. In these rather intimate works, yellow becomes the basic background color, evoked as the color of dust clouds documented by NASA over the Korean peninsula, Japan, and the Rocky Mountains. These clouds of dust are the result of agricultural, industrial, and traffic pollution, which are increasing in deserted areas, destroying stone crusts, and leaving them vulnerable to winds. This leads to sandstorms with a thick haze of ammonium, sulfate and nitrate ions, creating difficulties in visibility and breathing, while harming people's health and polluting the planet. Juxtaposing diagrammatic language and poetry, Jahoda's message is rather eerie and somber, like that of a disaster about to happen, gestured through sign language in a distance: To ignore the fate of our natural environment is to ignore the imminent fate of our own self-destruction.
Harout Simonian's video installation from his previous performance comments on the relationship between the individual body and social space. The visibility of the body in a society enables us to measure the margin it allows for expressing individual experimentation." In this manner, the body is always predetermined by social conditions, that way having little room for singularity and diversity. In the video, the artist tries unsuccessfully to stand and move around a Vaseline-smeared space, which leads to continuous slips and falls. The actions look even more absurd, since there is not spectator for the artist's struggle. The situation seems to reference a state of awkwardness of existence, the abjection of the body in relation to its surrounding space, whether socially, psychologically, or existentially. The body in its attempt to take an upward position is constantly at odds with the structure of its surrounding space, redefining it by reemerging in it. The body resists. Bodies are resistant, they inscribe, rather than are inscribed, the body is a body of sense, "the traced, the tracing, and the trace…"1 Against its gravitational boundaries, the body is extension and distention, its own consumption, degradation, expulsion, and reinsertion. It inter-spheres with its own inference. "A body is the in-finite of a thought."2
Grady Gerbracht's video installation, 62931-62943 (2007), is part of a series of photographic C-prints and a meditative audio/video gallery installation visualized as planes of sound from field recordings of various spans of high tension wire. The project began as a site-specific interference in rural Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, involving finding the shortest straight distances between various points of the city, departing from established routes, like dirt roads and railroad beds, and cutting across the region's picturesque fields of rice, soybeans, and grazing animals towards the urban centers where the supply of electricity originates. The project's numerical title is based on the identification tags found on each utility pole, and 62931-62943 is the interval of poles used to make this composition. Like conventional string instruments, these electrical cables, stretched between their supporting poles, resonate the sometimes imperceptible relationship between man-made and nature. Incidental sound generated by each span of wire is captured by contact microphones buried in the ground at the base of the poles. The sounds are not manipulated, only amplified, drawing attention to the frequencies that are always already being produced by the electromagnetic fields that surround the wires and natural forces like wind, seismic activity, and animals. Ignoring property boundaries and ordinary travel routes, as it slices through various panoramic scenes, these field recordings provide the mesmerizing score for the video installation in which ephemeral planes materialize, temporarily illuminating, for the viewer, the various spans of wire used in making this composition.