So much for well laid plans of attending three events at the Subtle Technology Symposium. I had a scheduling conflict with the The Traffic of Human Remains chat. I only made it to the exhibition. I found Shelley the mystery person who left Immortality catalogue on the workroom lunch table. Shelley the mystery person introduced me to Jim Ruxton Founder / Director of Programs. Jim and I had a productive conversation and made the promise to connect for future possibilities of working together. We discussed the potential of a presentation/ talk about the beauty of the special stains used in microscopic diagnosis of disease and the chemistry of human tissue. Yes, art met science along time ago in my life. Now that I have met Jim it seems like Subtle Technologies could be a new outlet for exploration. Lets see how organized I am next year.
This year the exhibition was a welcoming surprise one of introspection, digital gazing and extraterrestrial musings.
As part my morning rituals, a cup of Brooke bond tea in hand, I muse at my wrinkles in the mirror. The internal dialogue goes something like this….. “Does anyone care about the wrinkles on my forehead except me?” “Should I do something about them?” Will people actually think I am younger than I am? David Khang’s “Beautox Me” really was an introspective anti-botox advertisement made for me. Watching the video images of the same individual, before and after the Beautox procedure; the loss of emotive expression and the lines of many experiences erased. Quite honestly the audio really wasn’t necessary. Just think the wrinkles would be traded for people whispering, “Did you know she had botox? What wrong with her forehead ? Why is it so shiny? All the quiet inquisition is really a persuasive argument against botox for me. Although I do understand the lure of everlasting youth. I discuss it with my self every morning.
I was quite mezmorized by “Immortality; from the top down ” by Alan Sondheim, a Brooklyn based new media artist, musician, writer, and performer. His digital encompassing, trance art was created in Second Life. Second Life is free software which is used to create virtual worlds, avatars and the like. If you follow the trail, Second Life tag line is “Enter a world with infinite possibilities and live a life without boundaries, guided only by your imagination”. That tagline is the true definition of an artist living their life without interruption. This digital media was never ending and only will need to be restored if the hard drive fails. Art is the key to immortalizing the artist.
I was so captivated by the Second Life creation that almost missed the John Paul Robinson’s “Amber Archive” but the scent of pine resin drew me in. The archive is composed of pine resin encased ceramic discs with decals of the works of “choosen” contemporary artists on them. These time capsules are to be buried on earth and hopefully found millions of years from now. My son asked ” Who will find these fossils”? I have to wonder if it will be the aliens who come to Earth in search of us after they find the Voyager Golden Disc sent off into space in by NASA in the 70’s.
What do you get when you mix analogue and digital high frequency telescopes, tweets and Exoplanet 22 light years away? You get Scott Kidell’s and Nathaniel Stern’s #tweetsinspace. Really I gave this exhibit only a cursory glance and I felt this work was contrived in its nature given tone of the curator’s statement of the work. But my first impression was erroneous and it lead me to dig a little deeper. My search lead me to that the educational backgrounds of the creators, this made the art much more meaningful to me. A Phd of Electronics and Engineering and Master of Fine Arts creating a time capsule of tweets and projecting them into space has an element of scientific yet expensive playfulness.
The “Exploring the Beyond Category” art exhibition really could have done with a nice a cup of cannibis tea in fine china to digest the abounding concepts of everlasting.
When the extraterrestrials from 1.6 light years away to find the Golden Disk, the Amber Archive and the tweetsinspace all in one expedition, it will be a good trip and a virtual treasure trove. Will we have achieved our goals of sending our digital remains into the universe . What will they wonder about our rituals of life ?