The theme of the show comes in a short text describing the commercial clutter of everyday life, but optimised. It reads like a desktop of Photoshopped image searches materialised in branded fantasy objects, like gold WKD alcopops and “fluorescent yellow V20 filled with the iridescent bodies of a dozen blue bottle flies”. Or perhaps its a metaphor for the promise of a future perpetually unrealised: “Holed up in an abandoned night club, fifteen survivors listen to salvaged EDM club mixes through a failing sound system.”
“So we thought about things behind doors (outside or inside) and the idea of knowing that something is somewhere else—and feeling its presence via the somewhere elseness,” writes Sarah Boulton, one of the four curators behind the independent, artist-run publication Low Impact. Boulton, along with Valinia Svoronu, Eiko Soga and Sarai Kirshner, had finished out their Slade degree show last summer, realizing they found their works inadequately articulated in a way that was perhaps even inarticulable. “[M]aybe it existed in between the body that was summoned silently by the work & the objects or combination of videos in the room,” Boulton continues, it being perhaps the true intent of the works, their inarticulable communication.
The product of this dissatisfaction was Low Impact’s first issue, titled ‘Transparent Entities’, a kind of reaction to the intangibility of the energies created during the Slade degree show—a “more difficult communication than just what you saw/see in front of you”, composed of images and texts gathered from their friends, including a ‘Love Letter’ from James Lowneand a contribution from Harriet Rickard, among others. For their second issue, ‘Shallow Waters’, which launched in London on August 5, the four artists reunited to create what Boulton calls a position of transparency and of denial, one where “waves happen” and are felt. “This probably doesn’t make much sense,” she writes in what is supposed to be an elucidating email. “These things aren’t invisible; it’s not like: invisible/visible. It’s more like visible beyonds.”
Contributing to the issue are a dozen new artists, each supplying some elusive condition which, though almost entirely disjointed and personal, threads the works together in way that makes some sense—a kind of sensical beyond. The editorial contribution that opens the issue reads like a mindless recording of an emotional public event—a neglected ransom, a crying prime minister, the loved ones left behind—juxtaposed with a dry, medical description of the glands responsible for crying. Later, Georges Jacotey‘s sketches are visible, rough drawings of two men in impassioned coitus superimposed with the impassive faces of women, neither watching nor looking away. One of the more coherent works is a short story—a fraction of a story, by anyone’s standards but Lydia Davis’ perhaps—by Emily Berry called ‘Practice’ that begins and ends abruptly, a snippet of a feeling that one nevertheless feels develops outside of the confines of the story, pointing to something else, to something that is still happening.
Cristine Brache contributes two poems that seem to speak through one another—paying others to give me confidence / as i confidently experience / a complete lack of control (from ‘totalitarian nature’); i know objectification is a totalitarian function / i know that i too am a product / and perhaps that i have belonged to you (from ‘i know whoever sees me dance is gonna like it’). That’s followed by two surveillance state reference-rich collages by Iain Ball, complete with Anonymous-style masks and a faded sketch of Edward Snowden.