science as linear e.g. geological time, entropy
**live acousmatic performance and glacial ice installation
Dr. Onn Brandman
1) NOW WE CAN HOLD TIME by Hannah Perrine Mode, 2018. ice (tap water from Oakland; ice core samples from Antarctica; Mendenhall Glacier water from Juneau, AK), stones (Mills College), climbing cordelette, carabiners.
Working across mediums, and often drawing upon scientific research, I use the Earth as both material and subject for storytelling. I make objects and installations that incorporate time-based processes and transformative materials – like cyanotype, ice, and clay – tapping into their aesthetic qualities as well as their utility. Artworks become proxies to document the passage of time, personal experience, and human interaction with our environment.
I am interested in ways to bring the vastness of geologic time to an intimate human scale, and how to make space for vulnerability and empathy within that juxtaposition; I write love letters to glaciers, create and tend to systems of melt and erosion, trace my body along fault lines. Whether performed socially or in solitude, each gesture is an exercise in sincerity, hope, and (sometimes) futility – an attempt to reimagine the flow of the future.
2) sound environment: “See you in a field,” by Dr. Onn Brandman.
3) STITCHES live acousmatic performance by Carlos Sanchez. Improvization to the following poem-powerpoint by Charlotte Thun-Hohenstein, ‘Stitches’, 2018.
"Hello, World. /
I am a monster. /
I make you facts. /
I give you stitches. /
I bring only right angles. /
I am seen upon contact. /
You may observe."
The Frankenstein GRID is learning to articulate its nascent identity as a being in relation to the world. It does so drawing upon references from its digital environment, and recites its self-lesson in the form of a classroom powerpoint. Meanwhile, live music alludes to an interwoven multiplicity of experience and assocation sustaining this development.
4) A LONG POSTLUDE by Julie Herndon, 6, 2018.
Alexander Graham Bell developed the photophone in 1880. The device reflected vibrated sunlight to convey speech wirelessly. While Bell thought it to be one of his greatest inventions, it was too impractical to be put to general use.
This piece explores the mystical properties of light and its applications, using text documenting the photophone interspersed with prophecies about light. Light bulbs are absent from the story itself (Bell used sunlight for his experiment). As such, the bulbs become bystanders, independent characters groomed by history, communicating a story of speech by light.
5) ENTROPY by Chris Lortie (audio), 8:04, 2018. feat. ArtX video material.
"Art sets out to expand our awareness, to create room for new concepts that are just now being researched in science. Or, as Paul Klee once said, arts does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible. The same applies to science, especially pure research: it goes far beyond the visible. Sometimes it is the visions of science that open up new forms to art, and sometimes it is the other way round. But at all events both of them, art and science, pursue similar visions. Both deviate form the beaten track of thought and perception to conquer something new with great purpose and creativity. Both risk going down the wrong party in order to take a shortcut or discover new territory. Neither has it easy, because they question the tried and tested and upend the familiar."
-Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Director-General of CERN, 2014
6) PHYTOPLASTIC by Ellie Irons, 3:29, 2012.
Phytoplastic tracks the deterioration of a microscopic aquatic ecosystem through exposure to anthropogenic pollutants. Over the course of a few minutes, a small puddle of water containing a healthy community of algae and other phytoplankton grown from a sample of Hudson River water are subject to a barrage of pollutants, from plastic particles to bleach, silt and dish soap, creating a succinct portrait of ecosystem collapse. The piece combines footage shot through a microscope with audio collage to foreground microscopic plant life, which is often overlooked in favor more charismatic forms of nonhuman nature. The footage for this piece was shot through a Motic Compound Microscope at the SVA Nature and Technology Lab. Sound was recorded along the Hudson River piers in New York City and at Echo Lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
7) LESSONS FROM THE FOREST [part III] by Sasha Petrenko, 5:40, 2018.
Lessons from the Forest Part 3 explores Lichen, a plant made up of three organisms, fungi, algae and cyanobacteria*, as a model for symbiosis among community members as well as our relationship with plants through photosynthesis. The reoccurring question voiced by the characters “what does it mean I am not myself,” puts the self into question as science reveals our undeniable dependence on extra human entities and organic systems for food, water, material resources and the air we breath.
The multiple languages used throughout Lessons from the Forest, namely German, English and Czech are meant to reflect the diversity inherent in a healthy ecosystem and were chosen for reasons of familiarity and convenience. Czech is artist’s mother tongue and as the work began in Germany, german speakers were willing and close at hand. Additionally, the German people and their culturally significant relationship to the forest provided additional source material and context for the ecologically grounded project. The layered quality of the soundtrack, where words are spoken repeatedly, with different languages comprising a single sentence, pushes the words towards becoming more sound and emotion, than symbol and idea. What is left is relationships, between selves, between species. And as the relationships become more essential, the self dissolves into the network and becomes part of the ecological community.
8) PROMETHEUS HIS LIVER by Grahame Weinbren, 10:17, 2018.
Prometheus His Liver is a short film featuring medical research scientist John Rasko.
The Myth: Prometheus the Titan, son of Zeus, was the god who stole fire and delivered it to Man, effectively kick-starting civilization. As punishment, Zeus had him chained to a rock in the Caucasus mountains, where every evening a giant golden eagle descended from the sky and feasted on his liver. During the next day, Prometheus’s liver grew back, ready for the visit of the eagle that evening. This cycle was supposed to continue for ever . . .
The Art: A magnificent 17th century painting by Peter Paul Rubens (in collaboration with Franz Snyders) shows Prometheus in chains, eagle’s claws piercing his face and belly, its beak removing a morsel of raw liver from an open wound in the Titan’s side. In contrast, Paul Manship’s kitsch 20th century golden statue depicting a flying Prometheus, fire in hand, presides over the skating rink at Rockefeller Center in New York.
The Science: Incredibly, the liver is the only organ in the human body that regenerates. Up to two-thirds of the liver can be removed, and in a remarkably short time, it will grow back to its original size and shape. This was confirmed in the 19th century and first demonstrated experimentally with lab animals in 1931. Current research on the mechanisms of liver growth centers on stem cells.
Did ancient Greeks scientists and doctors have knowledge of the liver’s remarkable capacity for self-repair? Medical historians disagree. The principle proponents of the idea that the myth was based on established knowledge are also specialists in traditional Chinese medicine. This suggests that the historians who oppose this view might be captive to the biases of Western scientific discourse. Dr. John Rasko, the principle proponent of the latter view and also an experimental pathologist and director of a major research laboratory in Sydney Australia, has enthusiastically agreed to work with us on the scientific aspects of the project.
NB Audio interludes: NEURAL ORDINANCE by Nolan Lem, 10:06.