The Beyond Category; Art is Immortal

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 ?