nohlab

prima materia

Prima materia, as the first element, the ubiquitous starting material required for the alchemical processes, reveal transformation of our times.The matter of all forms create various transmutations, attached to laboratory processes, form and color changes in 3D, used as a model for the individuation process, and as a device in art and technology.That pure matter, existing in nature, is converted to other imperfect bodies that it interacts with, and this way is rediscovered and brought to the front by art and technology.

Navid Navab

Aquaphoneia
Aquaphoneia is an alchemical installation centred around the poiesis of time and transmutation of voice into matter. A large horn floating mid space echoes the ghosts of Edison, Bell, and Berliner’s machines. But unlike early recording, herding sound energy to etch pressure patterns in solid matter, this odd assemblage transmutes voice into water and water into air. Disembodied voices abandon their sources to cross the event horizon of the horn. Estranged, the schizo-phone falls into the narrow depths of the bell, squeezed into spatiotemporal infinity, calcinated, liquified and released: The aqueous voice then flows into three alchemical chambers where inner time is surrendered to the tempi of matter: unbound, yet lucid and sound.

Pedro Reyes

Return to Sender
Disarm music box
For the work group Disarm, he was able to use 6,700 weapons confiscated in the Mexican drug war and transform these into musical instruments[…] They play well-known, classical music pieces from the respective manufacturer’s country of origin. A musical box made with Glock pistol parts plays Mozart, Beretta barrels Vivaldi, while Reyes’s weapon of choice for Swiss songwriter Mani Matter is the Carabine. Reyes is concerned with «upcycling» – transforming an instrument of death into a musical instrument that stands for dialog and exchange. He undertakes this transformation process with the conviction that the physical act is always accompanied by an idealistic one and appeals to the spiritual dimension of this quasi-alchemical operation towards the good.

John Russell and Joey Holder

TETRAGRAMMATON
A dialogue between these two artists on themes of myth, ritual and meaning, as much about their exhaustion and propensity to bewilderment as any potential they may inhere, for recuperation for and by language, culture and society.Joey’s work, ‘Religiously observant’, is inspired by alchemical and occult ideas, the world of spirits and hallucinations. The wall print features a gold CGI blazon of the Tetragrammaton It references the Sumerian mythology of the Annunaki a race of ancient chthonic fertility Gods, subsequently inscribed in a series of publications by Zecharia Sitchin (a kind of elder statesman of conspiracy theorists worldwide) as descendants of aliens, who enslaved the human race to extract gold from the earth.John’s work similarly ranges over territories of opposition: between ancient and contemporary; mythic and kitsch; between the viscid and primordial. It takes as its subject the vector of congealment, in the Marxist sense of the way labour power is congealed in commodities and so forth, extending this metaphor into an aesthetics of myth and ritual, emptied out, flattened, compacted like a sedimentary layer of anthropocene garbage, for the post-historical epoch.The sound component provides an aural complement to this structure of refuse, exhaustion and abjection. Mixing pre- or -post-linguistic utterances, grunts, groans, screaming: a kind of secular glossolalia chaotically interwoven with whalesong, deep techno and political oratory.