REVITAL COHEN & TUUR VAN BALEN

The Immortal
A number of life-support machines are connected to each other, circulating liquids and air in attempt to mimic a biological structure.
The Immortal investigates human dependence on electronics, the desire to make machines replicate organisms and our perception of anatomy as reflected by biomedical engineering.
A web of tubes and electric cords are interwoven in closed circuits through a Heart-Lung Machine, Dialysis Machine, an Infant Incubator, a Mechanical Ventilator and an Intraoperative Cell Salvage Machine. The organ replacement machines operate in orchestrated loops, keeping each other alive through circulation of electrical impulses, oxygen and artificial blood.
Salted water acts as blood replacement: throughout the artificial circulatory system minerals are added and filtered out again, the blood gets oxygenated via contact with the oxygen cycle, and an ECG device monitors the system’s heartbeat. As the fluid pumps around the room in a meditative pulse, the sound of mechanical breath and slow humming of motors resonates in the body through a comforting yet disquieting soundscape.Life support machines are extraordinary devices; computers designed to activate our bodies when anatomy fails, hidden away in hospital wards. Although they are designed as the ultimate utilitarian appliances, they are extremely meaningful and carry a complex social, cultural and ethical subtext. While life prolonging technologies are invented as emergency measures to combat or delay death, my interest lies in considering these devices as a human enhancement strategy.This work is a continuation of my investigation of the patient as a cyborg, questioning the relationship between medicine and techno- fantasies about mechanical bodies, hyper abilities and posthumanism.

Mat Collishaw

The mask of youth
The eyes of the latest portrait of Queen Elizabeth I follow you around the room. No, they really do. Mat Collishaw’s hyperrealistic mask of the Tudor queen comes to life, whirring and grimacing, to shock visitors in the shadowy former royal chambers of the Queen’s House. As the days darken, the effect will get spookier. The Virgin Queen’s dark eyes dart around nervously. Her mouth opens as if to speak but she cannot find the words. She is dazed by a future she can’t comprehend, a robot ghost staring in horror and doubt at her own painted image – Collishaw’s undead death mask has her eyes fixed on the Armada Portrait, painted in 1588 and a treasure of the Queen’s House after being meticulously restored.

Lera Auerbach

Gogol
“The opera’s three acts are divided into seven scenes which blend fact with liberal amounts of invention. Among other things, Gogol wrestles with his (and Russia’s) demons by night, obsesses over his will and funeral arrangements, gets abused by doctors (‘but I don’t drink alcohol,’ he cries; ‘all the more reason for a leeching,’ they reply), bats away bothersome suitors with disconcertingly large papier-mâché breasts, falls in love with a nymph, and undergoes a literary show trial which culminates in his death.”
By Zwölftöner

Richard Hoeck and John Miller

Mannequin Death
Jarring and violent yet strangely hypnotizing, the video references the Kantian sublime landscape and the “sex appeal of the inorganic,” which, the Italian philosopher Mario Perniola argues, marks the transition from an organic, bodily sexuality to an inorganic and artificial one.more

bill viola

比尔•维奥拉
빌 비올라
ביל ויולה
ビル·ヴィオラ
БИЛЛ ВИОЛА
martyrs (earth, air, fire, water)

“As the work opens, four individuals are shown in stasis, a pause from their suffering. Gradually there is movement in each scene as an element of nature begins to disturb their stillness. Flames rain down, winds begin to lash, water cascades, and earth flies up. As the elements rage, each martyr’s resolve remains unchanged. In their most violent assault, the elements represent the darkest hour of the martyr’s passage through death into the light.”

Diana Thater

Abyss of Light

Abyss of Light is divided into three screens and into three acts, the traditional structure of classic narrative film. In the first act, all the images synchronize to form a single panorama of Bryce Canyon in Utah. In the second, the screens break away from one another into three parallel sequences wherein each projection shows the same one hundred images at different speeds. In the third, all three images synchronize once again to form a single wrapping panorama of Death Valley, California. The work is an ode to the American western, one of my favorite film genres. Despite my admiration, however, my desire is not to imitate westerns. Instead, I set up an abstraction in opposition to the idea of narrative, something that can be seen in all of my work. In Abyss of Light, continuous disruptions of the American landscape document my refusal to see the land as backdrop for man’s heroic conquering of the wild; instead I see it as a foreground, a subject to be contemplated for itself and for which wildness is a state of grace.

PEEPING TOM

32 rue vandenbranden
The script of physical actions is inspired by the Japanese film A ballad de Naraiama (1983), by Shohei Imamura, the one with tearing images, like that of the son carrying his mother on his back, embraced by the wind, climbing the mountain to put her on the summit until death, as the local tradition says that every septuagenarian must have an equal destiny. In the same village in the late 19th century, parents used to sell babies to survive. These material and spiritual miseries do not bring literals to the stage. Rather, they are essentials that make the show a fabulous visual poem written in and with the body and the scenic space. The song is also celebrated at the height, with moments such as Stravinski’s The Bird of Fire suite, and the song Fline on you crazy diamond, by the band Pink Floyd.

vadim zakharov

Захаров, Вадим Арисович
danaë installation

Drawing from the perpetually revisited myth of Zeus and Danae, an installation by Vadim Zakharov in the Russian pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2013 used consumable objects and the sequence of architectural spaces to make manifest underlying ideas about ‘rudeness, lust, narcissism, demagoguery, falsehood, banality, and greed, cynicism, robbery, speculation, wastefulness, gluttony, seduction, envy, and stupidity.’ the impregation of danae occurs when zeus appears to her as a golden shower after she is locked in a tower to prevent the professed death of her father. gender dynamics and the poetic cycle of gestation are reconstructed spatially with a total use of the pavilion– a first in the history of the building.

CORNELIA PARKER

كورنيليا باركر
科妮莉亚·帕克
קורנליה פרקר
コーネリア·パーカー
코넬리아 파커
Корнелии Паркер
two rooms

For some years Cornelia Parker’s work has been concerned with formalising things beyond our control, containing the volatile and making it into something that is quiet and contemplative like the ‘eye of the storm’. She is fascinated with processes in the world that mimic cartoon ‘deaths’ – steamrollering, shooting full of holes, falling from cliffs and explosions. Through a combination of visual and verbal allusions her work triggers cultural metaphors and personal associations, which allow the viewer to witness the transformation of the most ordinary objects into something compelling and extraordinary.

Neri Oxman

Neri Oxman: Material Ecology

Vespers

“Vespers is a collection of 15 3-D-printed masks that explore the idea of designing with live biological materials. The collection consists of three distinct series, each reinterpreting the concept of the death mask—traditionally a wax or plaster impression of a corpse’s face. Taken as a whole, the three series form a narrative arc from death to rebirth. In the first series, Oxman and The Mediated Matter Group looked at the death mask as a cultural artifact. Fabricated using an algorithm that deconstructed polyhedral meshes into subdivided surfaces, the masks were 3-D printed with photopolymers, as well as with bismuth, silver, and gold, and rendered in color combinations that recur in religious practices around the world.” Rachel Morón

PLAYDEAD

Limbo
Arnt Jensen
File Festival
FILE GAMES

Limbo is a 2D sidescroller, incorporating the physics system Box2D to govern environmental objects and the player character. The player guides an unnamed boy through dangerous environments and traps as he searches for his sister. The developer built the game’s puzzles expecting the player to fail before finding the correct solution. Playdead called the style of play “trial and death“, and used gruesome imagery for the boy’s deaths to steer the player from unworkable solutions.

 

frank kolkman and juuke schoorl

file sao paulo 2018
“Outrospectre” is an experimental proposal for a medical device aimed at reconciling people with death through simulating out-of-body experiences. In healthcare the majority of efforts and research focus on keeping people alive. The fear and experience of death is a mostly neglected topic. Recent (para) psychological research, however, suggests that the sensation of drifting outside of one’s own body using virtual reality technology could help reduce death anxiety. “Outrospectre” explores the possible application of these findings in hospital surroundings where it could help terminal patients accept their own mortality with more comfort.
This project investigates unanswered questions about mortality and ‘end of life’.

Tod Machover

Death and the Powers

Science fiction and poignant family drama combine in one of the most stunning, cutting-edge operas of the 21st century, with a libretto by former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, coming to the stage of the Winspear Opera House in a production directed by Diane Paulus, designed by Alex McDowell (Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report) and conducted by Nicole Paiement (TDO’s The Lighthouse).This visually spectacular robot pageant by MIT Media Lab’s Tod Machover tells the story of a terminally ill billionaire, sung by Robert Orth, who downloads his consciousness into “the System” and proceeds to use all his powers to persuade his loved ones to join him there. Without bodies, without the possibility of touch, sex, suffering, and death — are we still genuinely human?Explore these existential questions and much more in a piece Variety described as “playful, lyrical and…mesmerizing.” Also starring Joélle Harvey as Miranda, Patricia Risley as Evvy, and Hal Cazalet in his Dallas Opera debut as Nicholas.

Cod.Act

振り子の合唱団
Pendulum Choir

Pendulum Choir is an original choral piece for 9 A Cappella voices and 18 hydraulic jacks. The choir stands on tilting platforms, constituting a living, sonorous body. That body expresses itself through various physical states. Its plasticity varies at the mercy of its sonority. It varies between abstract sounds, repetitive sounds, and lyrical or narrative sounds. The bodies of the singers and their voices play with and against gravity. They brush and avoid each other creating subtle vocal polyphonies. Or, supported by electronic sounds, they break their cohesion and burst into lyrical flight or fold up into an obsessional and dark ritual. The organ travels from life to death in a robotic allegory where the technological complexity and the lyricism of the moving bodies combine into a work with Promethean accents.

D.W. Griffith

Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages
Regarded as one of the most influential films of the silent era (though it received mixed reviews at the time), the three-and-a-half-hour epic intercuts four parallel storylines, each separated by several centuries: (1) a contemporary melodrama of crime and redemption, (2) a Judean story: Christ‘s mission and death, (3) a French story: the events surrounding the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre of 1572, and (4) a Babylonian story: the fall of the Babylonian Empire to Persia in 539 BC. Each story had its own distinctive color tint in the original print, but not in the currently available versions.
cinema full

SAMAD GHORBANZADEH

Gray Nightmares
Grey Nightmares” is the name of a personal collection in which different subjects have been studied, the ones I have been involved in for the last couple of years. The subjects include, loneliness, death, nihility, downfall, pain, wait … though the main characters of this collection are the people who are looking for a way out of their limbo so that it can be a relief for them.

MARIA MARTINS

“O impossivel”

They touch. They bite. They get warm. They penetrate. They are made. They get rid of. They stick their tongues in. They put the body in. They get body. They split up. They exist.
They want to be one. It is impossible (“O impossivel”). Which means that a single body, as you would like, is impossible. It can not. For a moment yes, for a moment they can. But no, they can’t. Impossible. They cannot be one. Despite the bites. Their bodies are different. They were born and will die self-absorbed, in themselves. Between them there is an abyss, a discontinuity. But they want to be continuous, they want their bodies to be one body. Since they cannot, they celebrate the sacrifice of the meat. “Essentially,” says Georges Bataille, “the field of eroticism is the field of violence, the field of rape.” Isn’t it violent, perhaps, to want to break the discontinuity of the other closed in on itself? Isn’t it violent to force the discontinuity of the other to be a continuous whole with him? O impossível by the Brazilian Maria Martins (1894/1973) shows the excesses of sex (take note: excess, sex). Or impossível is the moment in which the organs swell with blood and gush sexuality. The moment when animality makes us gloriously human.

ÉTIENNE-LOUIS BOULLÉE

Cénotaphe à Newton

Boullée promoted the idea of making architecture expressive of its purpose, a doctrine that his detractors termed architecture parlante (“talking architecture”), which was an essential element in Beaux-Arts architectural training in the later 19th century. His style was most notably exemplified in his proposal for a cenotaph (a funerary monument celebrating a figure interred elsewhere) for the English scientist Isaac Newton, who 50 years after his death became a symbol of Enlightenment ideas. The building itself was a 150 m (500 ft) tall sphere, taller than the Great Pyramids of Giza, encompassed by two large barriers circled by hundreds of cypress trees. The massive and spheric shape of the building was inspired by Boullée’s own study called “theory of bodies” where he claims that the most beautiful and perfect natural body is the sphere, which is the most prominent element of the Newton Memorial. Though the structure was never built, Boullée had many ink and wash drawings engraved and circulated widely in the professional circles in 1784. The small sarcophagus for Newton is placed at the lower pole of the sphere. The design of the memorial is intended to create the effect of day and night. The night effect occurs when the sarcophagus is illuminated by the sunlight coming through the holes in the vaulting, giving the illusion of stars in the night sky. The day effect is an armillary sphere hanging in the center that gives off a mysterious glow. Thus, the use of light in the building’s design causes the building’s interior to change its appearance.