Point Cloud Old Growth
Forest on Location
In the video work Forest on Location, we see the avatar of the Iranian opera singer Shahram Yazdani walking through a forest. One moment, the forest wraps around him protectively, the next moment the trees crumble away into loose pieces of bark, or melt into a static green mass. At the same time, the forest as a whole floats around in darkness, uprooted. It is a forest without a location, except on our screen. The young man’s avatar appears to be wandering around there aimlessly. It is a wonderland that he exits from towards the end of the video, when his body slips straight through the green wall. This finally breaks the spell of the illusory forest, and everything is revealed to be no more than staged decor. But the forest does exist as a real forest, somewhere. This virtual green world is a digital back-up of Bia?owie?a Forest: the last remaining stretch of primeval low land forest that once covered much of Central Europe. Inspired by what the historian Simon Schama wrote about Bia?owie?a in Landscape and Memory (1995), Persijn Broersen and Margit Lukács journeyed to Poland to capture the forest suffused by old-Germanic nostalgia and mythical atmosphere.
Oculus is a large-scale, collaborative light sculpture that depicts a colossal abstracted drosophila eye, replete with compound faceted surfaces. It both recalls the circular opening at the apex of a cupola and alludes to a surveillance device or drone hovering in mid-air. Oculus is inspired in part by a series of scanning electron micrographs produced in a transgenic lab while researching human and non-human sensoria. The work evokes affective encounters with scale such as viewing miniature particles through the lens of a microscope or wandering through monumental physical environments. As each viewer’s reflection plays across the sculpture’s undulating surface, the apprehension of the self affects both individual and collective behavior in unexpected ways. This affective dynamic plays on the precariousness of our coexistence with other lifeforms in the world, one that is always contingent upon viewers’ bodies and the variability of the environment around them. The act of gazing at Oculus also puts into play the reciprocal condition of both seeing and being seen.
The great epic work of ancient Greek poetry tells the story of Odysseus’s journey home after the Trojan War and what happens when the hero arrives at Ithaca. It is a transcendental tale that has always been the symbolic text par excellence about human adventure and the wanderings of existence in a harsh but exciting world.
Robert Wilson’s encounter with Homer is one of the major artistic events of this season. One of the most influential and acclaimed artists in world theatre brings his own unique approach to the material. The sensitivity, inventiveness and imagination of the great American director resonate with the Homeric spirit, creating a spellbinding new theatrical language. Eighteen carefully chosen performers and Wilson’s own internationally renowned collaborators bring all their artistry to bear on this unique venture, which is intended for all audiences, regardless of age or experience of the theatre.
The more we look, the more we see, the more we see the more we look. “Elucidating feedback” is a brain-controlled installation about the creativity inherent in the act of observation. The more attention that is paid to the installation, the more order is reflected in the video and audio. The idea is that we create the finer details of our experience through the act of being attentive. The more we observe our environment, the more we discover, and the result of this active process is the creation of the rich details of our experience. The project uses neuro feedback supplied through interaction between the user and a BCI (brain-computer interface) device. The mindset (the BCI device) reads your brainwaves and this alters how the installation creates form from static. The more attention is paid, the more pattern is formed; as less attention is paid, the pattern breaks back into static. This is intended to form a feedback loop between the user’s attention and the subject of their attention (the projected patterns). The audio-visual aspect of the installation produces pattern, order and detail in direct proportion to the attention that the user is currently paying. If the user is in a state where the mind is freely wandering and not focused on any one thing, the patterns decay into static, bringing the installation back to a state of stasis.