Conditions Variable Dissertation Exhibition, February 2014
As citizens, what we have left to alleviate some of the problems of environmental catastrophe, is our ability to monitor these occurrences with specialized and/or hacked sensory technologies. This is in part due to the mistrust of the hegemonic structures that seem to facilitate misguided and ill informed decision making processes. In effect, government and corporate collusion seem to be creating more long term problems than they are solving. Our political checks and balances are simply at odds with the well being of our planet. The promises of progress we believed would solve the problems of the future are long gone.
So what can be done! Monitoring and realtime reporting is one recourse, which is slightly different than direct protest. At the same time the burden on the world citizen within an already distressed global economy is amplified. Individuals must continually be politically active instead of placing trust in an elite oligarchy and the artist is one of many who often lead the charge through bricoleur aesthetics and creative solutions - not as an elite collective, but as embedded world citizens.
Realtime reporting, a mantra of systems esthetics developed in 1970s conceptualism, has been co-opted by artists today to link up with strategic information systems. The fluid nature of data is both a hindrance and a solution that does not necessarily end in a stalemate - if we are able to cast doubt in the minds of decision makers. This is where assemblage theory comes in. The realization that social formations are assemblages of other complex configurations, play a role in other, more extended configurations of life and sustainability that resist anthropocentric focus.
Complexity replaces the deconstructionist and postmodern notion of anthropocentric identity because it embraces the ontic principle. The artist is freed from the constraints of text to explore worlds beyond worlds. In this exhibition the dynamics of complexity were expounded upon by a multitude of materials and sensing devices providing the viewer and listener with a glimpse of works that were done over extended periods of time as well as those that sample the energy streams that are unfolding before them - proximity, duration and materiality all play a part.