“Today we are all ‘creators’, all able to see ourselves extended into the data networks of the ludic-virtual. In other words, all complicit in the creation of a new mirror — a slightly kaleidoscopic mirror, mind you — but one that captivates us like Narcissus long beyond that mirror phase of childhood. Like the two-way sort used in clinical psychology, however, this new era of the interactive is at once mirror and screen, at once opportunity for enclosed self-contemplation and open performance. For we all know what lurks behind the silvering of this new mirror in the Facebook Polis and that is the gaze: sometimes manifest as benevolent glance and sometimes as cold, clinical, unblinking stare. Always performance.
Narcissus never suspected that Echo was swimming below the surface of the pool, but we know better.
This blur between mirror and screen is perhaps best understood in the language used to describe it: ‘one-way mirror’, ‘two-way mirror’, ‘one-way glass’ and ‘two-way glass’ are all used interchangeably, two sets of complete opposites in recombination to express the same concept. The fragmented subject only finds confusion in its attempts to articulate its relation to the interface; even with this 2x2 matrix the concept eludes us. Political action in the Facebook Polis must consider both the material element of this membrane between gesture and vision as well as its relative opacity in approaching the speed of light — the panoptic space is obsolesced by our very reflection.”
“Ulay and Abramovic introduce the video of ‘Breathing in, Breathing out’ (April 1977, Belgrade) as follows: ‘We are kneeling face to face, pressing our mouths together. Our noses are blocked with cigarette filters.’ Ulay says: ‘I am breathing in oxygen. I am breathing out carbon dioxide.’ Abramovic: ‘I am breathing in carbon dioxide. I am breathing out carbon dioxide.’ Ulay: ‘I am breathing in carbon dioxide. I am breathing out carbon dioxide.’ In November of the same year, the reverse version of ‘Breathing in, Breathing out’ was performed at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam under the title ‘Breathing out, Breathing in’. The intimacy suggested by the video still is actually misleading. For almost twenty minutes, Ulay and Abramovic depend desperately on each other to stay alive. They share their breath, without external access to oxygen. The physical struggle that ensues due to the lack of oxygen and to the breathing in of carbon dioxide is visibly exhausting. Abramovic is sweating profusely; her breathing is clearly audible. Ulay manages to control the rhythm of his breathing for slightly longer, but soon he is suffering too. At that point, Ulay and Abramovic are no longer sitting still, but are moving vehemently to and fro until they cannot take it anymore. They let go of each other’s mouths, gasping to regain their breath. Compared to the other performances based on bodily stamina, this highly strenuous performance is relatively short, due to the lack of the most essential ingredient of life.”
Vídeo em 3 canais realizado para a exposição BANCO DE TEMPO, de Patricia Gouvêa e Isabel Löfgren, para a Série DUPLAS, Galeria do Lago e Jardim da República (Museu da República).
Em “Rotas de fuga” as artistas não só andam pelo parque, mas também andam entre uma projeção e outra, de imagem em imagem, como sobre uma fita de moebius. Com as perspectivas do parque como pano de fundo, trocam uma mala de mãos. Nunca habitam a mesma imagem ao mesmo tempo, devido ao fato de raramente estarem na mesma cidade juntas, mas mesmo assim trocando experiências ao longo do tempo, desde que começaram a trabalhar em parceria em 2005.
Nonsense Lab was dubbed the unofficial name of the studio space that hosted Sean Smith for the inaugural Artist/Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Western Ontario's Department of Visual Arts during 2011-2012. The title is a tongue-in-cheek homage to the Sense Lab, a program space for research-creation founded by Erin Manning and Brian Massumi in Montreal.
This blog originally documented Sean's engagement with students in the elective Visual Arts course "Toward a Kinoderm Aesthetics," other activities and initiatives with the UWO and broader London communities while in residence during the fall 2011 semester, and progress on work for the exhibition D S NFORMAT ON: Threnody from the Vision Machine, held January 12-26, 2012 at the ArtLAB Gallery, John Labatt Visual Arts Centre.
Today it continues to share emergent processes with various networked communities, as well as offering a rough curatorial exercise of inspiring artworks that engage similar thematic trajectories.
Much of Sean's current work emerges from the Department of Biological Flow, his ongoing experimental dialogue of research-creation with Barbara Fornssler. Spanning performance, installation, text, image, poetry and motion capture, their consideration of biological flow develops processes to a state at which they have just ceased to be fragile enough for one's imagination to take over and build upon the framework.
While the focus of their practice often concerns the aesthetics and politics of surveillant optics in urban spaces, they also intend to bring a more multisensory approach to their processes of research-creation -- along with generous helpings of humour.