Part of isthisit? issue 2 magazine launch, and curated by Bob Bicknell-Knight for Untitled’s fourteenth event (ed’s note: programmed by Jonny Tanna), both look at “the power of the meme, it’s rise in contemporary culture and the widespread appropriation of images and videos being utilised, both in memes and artworks.” The exhibition features work by 18 artists, including Bora Akinciturk, Anne de Boer,Joey Holder, Will Kendrick and Yorkson, among others.
Varying in medium, the works are strewn across the space, where the ‘monuments’ become remains, evidence of something past and partly shattered. It is choreographed like a trace, where details are easy to miss, including de Boer’s circular plates that read as follows:
“I am breathing and I can see everything that I should be seeing: the sky, the earth and the sun’s brilliant shafts. But it’s as if I have fallen into a tempest and my mind is in a dreadful turbulence. My breath is hot and flows out of my lungs in my spasm! W h a t? What am I doing here? I am confused. I cannot remember where I am. You there! Can one of you, friends over there, help me understand? I can’t understand a thing of what is going on. Will my silence alone give me the answer? Tell me what happened to me! My limbs are frozen. I cannot leave this place. How I wish I could turn into a rock upon this very spot right now, with no memory of all my troubles.” **
A project developed by Eloïse Bonneviotand Anne de Boer, and in collaboration with a number of other artists, The Mycological Twist began in 2014 in London’s Jupiter Wood’s garden, and continues to function as an extension of the space to “investigate the cycle of deterioration and regeneration happening in zones of Dark Ecology.” The exhibition will explore the world of ‘Fungitopia’ and ways to re-connect and re-image our place within the ecosystem.
The event inaugurates project space Friche’s new programme Diaspora that hosts events concerned with the nature of ecosystems, as well as Friche Broadcasts, a curatorial programme looking at plant communication and social interaction and bring together work and research by artists, scientists, designers, chefs and other members of the community interested in the premise.
It seems the works installed in the small space, which used to be a garage, will focus exclusively on zones of contact between species, human and non-human, and the interdependence, commodification and new imagination that these points of experience bring.
The Polluted&rearranged&garage&virtualized&LOVE&Fighting&repeat&usb& group showis on at London’s Hartslane Studios, opening June 7 and running to June 8.
The artists involved are all in their first year of the MFA programme at Goldsmiths,like Anne de Boer, Natasha Bird, Tom Varleyand Laura Yuile, and theshow is prefaced with a text that seems to run through the thought process behind creating an exhibition that has at its core several loose but related threads and feelings.
The text, which is riddled with ampersands (‘&s’), goes through phrases, words and references like ‘garage’, ‘rearranged’, ‘Robbie Williams’, ‘TK Max’, ‘Marcel Duchamp’ and recounts someone addressing a robot about these thoughts.
The Пикник на обочине (Piknik na obochine) group show is on at Paris’ Exo, opening May 12 through May 19.
The exhibition —the title of which translates to ‘Roadside Picnic’ in English —includes work by the likes of Viktor Timofeev, Jason Benson, Martin Kohout, and Hannah Lees, each of whom have contributed a lot to the art world’s conversation on human self-comprehension and the related speculation around the existence of the ‘natural’ world during “The Time of The Anthropocene”, to quote philosopher Bruno Latour, who’s words are echoed in the press release.
The show borrows its title from 1970s Russian science fiction novel of the same name about an extraterrestrial occurrence called ‘The Visitation’, that happened for two days across six sites simultaneously, unbeknownst to the local people. The book compares the event to a picnic, while the exhibition’s press release also includes a paragraph from Annihilation (2014) by Jeff Vandermeer that describes a picture of the discovery of left-over rusted equipment and tents that were “little more than husks” in an aftermath of an expedition made by humans gone long before.
The London-based artist responsible for ongoing project The Mycological Twistwith Eloïse Bonneviot, will launch new works constructed through databases and content generators that offer inspiration in uninspired situations. They’ll materialise in a sculptural installation at Goldsmiths that will also host several randomly composed songs to feature during the The Ripped Uk power plug exhibition private view.
Meanwhile, Two Admirable Uncles Communicating to the Beat will display the content being gathered by a bot, the images harvested for the aforementioned installation, as part of online exhibition space Channel Normal’s ECKS-EN-ISseries.
Bringing the two projects together are the press releases for the respective shows, featuring two mildly non-sensical short stories written through a plot-generator and sharing a character named after, unsurprisingly, Anne him (or, as per the narratives, her-) self: “I love you and I want Creation.”
The first to contribute to a series of talks held as part of Eloïse Bonneviot and Anne de Boer‘s ongoing The Mycological Twistproject, the Warsaw-based artist will present her research on several moments in history “where malnutrition was used as a method to suppress a population”, specifically tied to the ongoing assault on Syrian civilians through famine.
Exploring malnutrition as a weapon, Brzuzan’s dinner titled ‘Hunger is/isn’t an object’ draws on The Mycological Twist talk series’ exploration into “different aspects of mycelium, fungal growth and its ramified logics”. Its introduction draws parallels between a “beautifully silky [poisonous] mushroom” called the Death Cap (Amanita phalloides) with a similar-looking and edible Mediterranean counterpart and contemporary issues of political geographies and migration.
Taking the themes of their original process-based project and expanding on them, Bonneviot and de Boer explore networks as support for sustainability and the idea that human networks are, in a sense, natural.
The workshop comes with a programme of events and case studies happening in-game, commencing Monday at 18:00, with ‘Exploration, Construction and Development, Tuesday through Thursday from 14:00 onwards, a contribution by Agatha Valkyrie Ice and Anna Mikkola on Thursday at 18:00, and a DJ / VJ set from 19:00 on Friday.
John Cage was apparently into mushrooms. Not only a composer and pioneer of indeterminate music, he was also a keen amateur mycologist, a branch of biology with its focus on fungi. London-based artists Anne de Boer and Eloïse Bonneviot have found a fascination in the field too, not only cultivating The Mycological Twist installation at London’s Jupiter Woods where the artists are growing their own mushrooms, but composing their own ‘Shroom Music & Myco_educational_VJ-set’ extolling on its benefits. Performing the audiovisual performance-installation from one of the “storage islands” in the “co-working archipelago” of Apophenia, the duo set a lo-fi projection of saturated images, words and instructions to a playlist that spanned New Age, trance, psychedelia and maybe a bit of funk, at Salford’s Regent Trading Estate on December 6.
That VJ-DJ performance opened a night full of them at a provisional “industrial sculpture and storage park” constructed by artists-in-residence Josephine Callaghan, Susanna Davies-Crook and Gery Georgieva and carved out by equally ephemeral light in the Regent Trading Estate space. Guests invited to perform within the “jumble of assets” inspired by the experience of finding patterns and associations in random data (from which Apophenia takes its name), included de Boer and Bonnevoit, as well as New Noveta andPatchfinder, while Joey Holder contributed three Jacuzzi shells from the artist’s HYDROZOAN exhibition at The Royal Standard in Liverpool.
A DIY fountain made from black bags leaking water and being buffeted by bamboo only to burst on to its audience. A film of an Afghan refugee journey to Greece being intercepted by metal sheets reflecting the film back out into reality. A six-person focus group on ‘independence’ exploring the individual voice and its mass mediation. These are some of the ways the night-long event interrogated the idea of “the way in which our relationship to assets, from property to services and natural resources, is changing in a climate of scarcity”. It’s the first in a series of live events, curated by Helen Kaplinsky and Maurice Carlin of the #temporarycustodians R&D project, looking to create a “share economy” space among its ‘islands’ of storage.
“Mushrooms, like every sexually reproducing organism on this planet, can generate a limited number of cell division before vitality falters”, Bonnevoit warns in her live and intermittent notes on mycology throughout the ‘Shroom Music & Myco_educational_VJ-set’. That’s followed by the swelling, bulging and throbbing time-lapse imagery of fungi growing and reproducing, while a woman’s voice sings, “why don’t you lay your head back, open your lips and take a sip” over a tune that can only be described as ‘groovy’. It’s an un-Googleable song called ‘Fourth Dimensional’ by Aquafur, taken from what de Boer calls a “chillwave/psybient/triphop” compilation CD. Its jerky “fourth-dimensional, super-expressional, soul-continual, verging on criminal” refrain prefaces an eventual shift in mood, from awkwardly sexy ‘funkwave’ to angry industrial, as Bonnevoit puts out the appeal, “I strongly believe that the future health of the planet may well depend on the strains we preserve this century”. **
It might seem strange to call your inaugural show Thank You – after all, Jupiter Woods has only just started. The south London project space, lead by a team of six curators, has taken the notoriously difficult task of the first show – for which the expectation on any new gallery is usually to present a manifesto – and contorted it into an amorphous rolling programme, subject to any sort of change. They’re not being very specific. Throughout August “artists, architects, philosophers – friends” will contribute to the space – we’re not quite sure how yet. However, the first incarnation features four artists, each working from distinct understandings of how structures manifest in networked and social cultures.
Viktor Timofeev’s ‘N & N’ (2011-2014) greets us on entry, black stencilled sans-serif capital ‘N’s building a structure on the canvas, the weight of the higher capitals weakening those at the base. It’s a buckling architecture formed by a stuck keyboard key, light in precise draftsmanship but heavy in the subtle insinuation of collapse. Eloïse Bonneviot’s ‘Mug Ersatz (performance), The Infernal Design, Phase II’ (2013), part of an ongoing research project into the role of objects in the film Final Destination, is similarly paradoxical. Bottles of different coloured vodka sit on a pale wooden table alongside mugs branded with the 2000 film’s fictional “Mt. Abraham High School”, each of which have been slightly cracked. While the table serves as a hub for conversation and drinking, the compromised cups leak their coloured vodkas out onto the tabletop, staining the wood and marking social trajectories and dynamics through their proximities.
Anne de Boer’s ‘Void Shuffle (int array)’ (2014) is an algorithmically-driven video loop. The artist splices a number of found videos – ranging from tutorial videos for programming loop functions to a 3D rendered head – into one minute segments, the play order of which is determined by the shuffle algorithm of the media player. Sæmundur Þór Helgason’s ‘Mediation as such (version 3)’ (2014) is a recursive and self-contained sculpture. A crate filled with laser-cut packing foam serves as the foundation for the construction of the work, as well as the protective enclosure for its transportation. Metal bars protrude from it, creating the stands for a projection screen at one end and a small projector at the other, looping a video representing the construction and purchase of the SD card used to play the video. There’s a sadness in both de Boer and Helgason’s work: a subtle suggestion that hermetic digitality spirals towards recursion. This initial incarnation of Thank You seems to want to dismantle constructions to their component parts so we can better study them. Verging on dissection, the exhibition presents structures at various forms of deconstruction, the suggestion being that once we understand how they function, how they stay alive, and why they collapse, we can start to build something new. There’s an optimism in the context: gratitude is a solid foundation.**