Exhibition: Naming Things – localStyle (Marlena Novak and Jay Alan Yim) – 13. – 26. 8. 2015.

Naming Things – localStyle (Marlena Novak and Jay Alan Yim)

13 – 26 . 08 . 2015
curator: Darko Fritz

16 . 08 . 21 h . artist talk

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The collaborative localStyle was founded in Amsterdam in 2000 by Marlena Novak and Jay Alan Yim. Using high and low tech means, their intermedia practice includes video, sound installation, interactive installations, live performance with electronics, and audience participation. Their projects explore how territories and boundaries—whether physical or intangible—are constructed, interpreted, and negotiated, via themes as varied as issues of trespass, the mating behaviour of hermaphroditic marine flatworms, the sonification of electric fish from the Amazon, and experimental Eurasian blackbird grammar. Their new work, Naming Things, premiering at siva)(zona, takes its inspiration from a Foucauldian discourse on a passage from Jorge Luis Borges’ text “The Analytical Language of John Wilkins”. Addressing semantics and general systems of thought, this audiovisual installation’s sometimes playful appearance aims to destabilize our misplaced assumption of underlying logic in how we taxonomize the world around us.

In their artist talk, localStyle will present several works that address looking towards an/other… Working with an/other creature’s perceptual system—as in their interactive project scale (with live Ghost Knife fish)—or engaging an/other point of view (as in their Chicago Cultural Center installation, Cite Unscene)—localStyle will show and discuss excerpts of these and other projects as well as the new work on exhibition, Naming Things, which explores how juxtapositions of ‘an/other’ within a common framework begin to establish meaning and credibility.

Borges cites “…a certain Chinese dictionary entitled The Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge” where “… animals can be divided into (a) those belonging to the Emperor, (b) those that are embalmed, (c) those that are tame, (d) pigs, (e) sirens, (f) imaginary animals, (g) wild dogs, (h) those included in this classification, (i) those that are crazy-acting (j), those that are uncountable, (k) those painted with the finest brush made of camel hair, (l) miscellaneous, (m) those which have just broken a vase, and (n) those which, from a distance, look like flies
This ‘dictionary’ is referenced in Foucault’s 1966 book, The Order of Things, where Foucault addresses the formation of knowledge within the sciences.

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Foucault writes “This book first arose out of a passage in Borges, out of the laughter that shattered, …all the familiar landmarks of my thought …the thought that bears the stamp of our age and our geography—breaking up all the ordered surfaces and all the planes with which we are accustomed to tame the wild profusion of existing things, and continuing long afterwards to disturb and threaten with collapse our age-old distinction between the Same and the Other.”
“In the wonderment of this taxonomy, the thing we apprehend in one great leap, … demonstrated as the exotic charm of another system of thought, is the limitation of our own, the stark impossibility of thinking that.”

As one of the Borgesian tactics that our project, Naming Things, will emulate, existing fauna will be combined with imaginary organisms into a fictitious taxonomy whose credibility will invite speculation and ultimately reflection on how our systems of knowledge are promulgated and reinforced. Camera tracking software was used to duplicate video camera movement in a 3d modelling program; imaginary digital creatures are recombined into the existing video media, which are comprised of multiple ‘classes’ of animals, or live in their own virtual environment. Two other categories of footage are deployed: that of living animals in natural environments, and interaction with animals in the form of toys or material objects.Audio is developed via voice and field recordings and composed electronic music. This audio-visual project is a continuation of our ongoing exploration of perception and behaviour: gathering and processing of information, and the construction, interpretation and negotiation of thresholds and boundaries via themes as varied as the mating behaviour of hermaphroditic marine flatworms, the song of the European blackbird, and the sonification of electric fish from the Amazon.

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localStyle projects have been presented in festivals, museums, galleries, and alternative venues in more than three dozen cities worldwide (a.o. Amsterdam, Amersfoort, Barcelona, Beijing, Belgrade, Berlin, Boston, Brussels, Budapest, Camden, Chicago, Cologne, Duluth, Eindhoven, Den Haag, Huddersfield, Jerusalem, Linz, London, Mexico City, New York, the Orkney Islands, Richmond, Santa Barbara, Santa Fe, São Paolo, Sarasota, Shanghai, Sittard, Sydney, Szczecin, Tel Aviv, Torino, Toronto, Valencia, and Warsaw). Festival presentations have included the National Art Museum of China’s (NAMOC) TransLife Triennial, STRP Festival, Visioni dal Futuro, Taipei Digital Art Festival.

Marlena Novak is a member of the faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, in the Department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation. Prior to that, she served as Associate Director of Northwestern’s Animate Arts Program, and has been a faculty member at the University of Illinois Chicago and visiting professor at the University of New Mexico. She has received grants from the Arts Council of Great Britain, Illinois Arts Council, Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts, and the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Her work is included in public (a.o. the Corcoran in Washington, DC and the Mondriaanhuis in Amersfoort, NL) and private collections in Europe and the USA, and has been presented in solo and group exhibitions in more than three dozen cities worldwide.

Jay Alan Yim studied computer music at Stanford and MIT and music composition at the University of California Santa Barbara, the Royal College of Music, and Harvard. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Illinois Arts Council (three times), Tanglewood, Aspen, and many other awards. His music has been featured at international contemporary music festivals and has been performed by artists such as the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Nederlands Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Residentie Orkest Den Haag, Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble SurPlus, Arditti, JACK, and Spektral Quartets, Nieuw Ensemble, ICE, dal niente, Gareth Davis, and Frances-Marie Uitti.

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Naming Things
localStyle (Marlena Novak and Jay Alan Yim)

13. – 26. 8. 2015.

Galerija siva) (zona iz Korčule premijerno predstavlja audiovizualnu instalaciju pod nazivom Naming Things umjetničkog dua localStyle (Marlena Novak i Jay Alan Yim) iz Chicaga. Otvaranje izložbe je u četvrtak 13. 8. 2015. od 21 do 23 sata u prisustvu autora. Umjetnici će održati i predavanje na engleskom jeziku pod nazivom “towards an/other…” u nedjelju 16. 8. 2015. u 21 sat. Izložba je otvorena svakodnevno od 21 do 22 sata, ili prema dogovoru, do 26. 8.

Suradnički projekt localStyle pokrenuli su Marlena Novak i Jay Alan Yim 2000. godine u Amsterdamu. Koriste high i low tech sredstva, a u svoju intermedijsku praksu uključuju i video, zvučne i interaktivne instalacije te performanse uživo uz participaciju publike. Njihovi projekti istražuju kako se teritoriji i granice – bilo fizičke ili nematerijalne – konstruiraju, interpretiraju, pregovaraju, a obrađuju razne teme, poput npr: pravo prolaza teritorijem koji je u privatnom vlasništvu; ponašanje crva hermafrodita pri parenju; sonifikacija (ozvučenje) električne ribe iz Amazone; eksperimentalna euroazijska gramatika crnog kosa.

Njihov novi rad pod nazivom “Naming Things” premijerno se prikazuje u galeriji siva)(zona na Korčuli, a svoju inspiraciju crpi iz foucaultovskog diskursa primijenjenog na isječak iz Borgesovog teksta ‘El idioma analítico de John Wilkins’ (“Analitički jezik Johna Wilkinsa”). Dok adresira semantiku i opći sistem mišljenja, ponekad zaigrani izgled ove audio-vizualne instalacije cilja na destabilizaciju često pogrešnih pretpostavki o tome kako funkcionira logika taksonomije svijeta koji nas okružuje.

U okviru predavanja koje će se održati 16.8.2015. u galeriji siva) (zona, duo localStyle će predstaviti nekoliko djela koja se bave gledanjem prema nekom/drugom… (towards an/other…). U svom radu s percepcijskim sistemom nekog/drugog bića (kao npr. u njihovom interaktivnom projektu pod nazivom scale s živom Ghost Knife ribom), ili angažiranjem stava nekog/drugog (kao npr. u instalaciji pod nazivom Cite Unscene koja je bila postavljena u Kulturnom centru Chicaga), duo localStyle će pokazati dijelove upravo spomenutih, ali i nekih drugih projekata, uključujući i projekt pod nazivom Naming Things koji se premijerno prikazuje u galerijskom prostoru sive) (zone. Naming Things istražuje kako pozicioniranja ‘nekog/drugog’/’neke/druge’ u okviru općeg i općenitog počinju oblikovati vlastito značenje i vjerodostojnost.

Borges piše: “…određeni kineski riječnik pod nazivom Nebesko sredstvo dobrohotnog znanja” gdje “… se životinje dijele na (a) one koje pripadaju caru, (b) one koje su balzamirane, (c) one koje su pitome, (d) svinje, (e) sirene, (f) imaginarne životinje, (g) divlje pse, (h) one koje su uključene u ovu klasifikaciju, (i) one koje se ponašaju kao lude those(j), one koje su nebrojive, (k) one koje su oslikane najfinijim kistom napravljenim od kamilje dlake, (l) one koje stavljamo u rubriku ‘pod razno’, (m) one koje su upravo razbile vazu, i (n) one koje s distance izgledaju poput muha.
Foucault referira na ovaj ‘rječnik’ u svojoj knizi iz 1966 Les Mots et les choses (Riječi i stvari, prvi put prevedeno u izdanju Nolita 1971.godine, hrvatski prijevod Srđana Rahelića, 2002. godine, izdanje Golden marketinga) u kojoj je riječ o formiranju znanja u okviru znanosti.

Foucault piše: “Mjesto rođenja ove knjige nalazi se u jednom Borgesovu tekstu. U smijehu koji pri čitanju uzdrmava svako uobičajeno mišljenje – naše mišljenje: mišljenje našeg doba i naše zemljopisne širine – dovodeći do kolebanja svih uređenih površina i svih planova koji za nas smiruju bujanje bićâ, zadugo zabrinjavajući našu tisućljetnu praksu Istog i Drugog i dovodeći do njezina teturanja. […] U začudnosti takve taksonomije ono do čega dolazimo u skoku, ono što nam je zahvaljujući basni naznačeno kao egzotični šarm neke druge misli, upravo je granica naše: ogoljela nemogućnost da to mislimo” (prijevod s francuskog Srđan Rahelić, Golden marketing 2002.)

Projekt Naming Things emulira jednu od borgesovskih taktika tako da se postojeća fauna kombinira s imaginarnim organizmima u fiktivnu taksonomiju čija vjerodostojnost poziva na razmišljanje i snažnu refleksiju o načinu na koji se naši sistemi znanja šire i međusobno osnažuju. Koristio se tracking software za kameru kako bi se udvostručio pokret video kamere u 3d programu; imaginarna digitalna bića kombiniraju se unutar postojećeg medija videa u kojem lociramo multiple “vrste” životinja koje žive u vlastitom virtualnom okruženju. Također se koriste još dvije kategorije snimaka: ona snimljenih životinja u prirodnom okružju te ona koja prikazuje interakciju sa životinjama u formi npr. materijalnih objekata. Zvuk se razvijao kroz kombinaciju snimaka vokala, terenskog snimanja i komponirane elektronske glazbe.

localStyle projekti predstavljani su na festivalima, u muzejima, galerijama kao i alternativnim prostorima u više od tucet gradova širom svijeta (između ostalog u Amsterdamu, Amersfoortu, Barceloni, Pekingu, Beogradu, Berlinu, Bostonu, Briselu, Budimpešti, Camdenu, Chicagu, Koelnu, Duluthu, Eindhovenu, Hagu, Huddersfieldu, Jerusalemu, Linzu, Londonu, Mexico Cityju, New Yorku, na otocima Orkney, u Richmondu, Santa Barbari, Santa Feu, São Paolu, Sarasoti, Šangaju, Sittardu, Sydneyu, Szczecinu, Tel Avivu, Torinu, Torontu, Valenciji i Varšavi). Festivalske prezentacije uključuju festival TransLife Triennial u kineskom Nacionalnom umjetničkom muzeju (National Art Museum of China’s – NAMOC), STRP Festival, Visioni dal Futuro, Taipei Digital Art Festival i mnoge druge. Recentni projekti su bili predstavljeni u amsterdamskom Amstelparku, na festivalu Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, zatim u Caochangdi, Chicagu, Londonu te Šangaju.

Marlena Novak predaje na School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Odjel za film, video, nove medije i animaciju. Prethodno tome, radila je kao Associate Director of Northwestern’s Animate Arts Program, te predavala na Chicago University of Illinois, a bila je i gostujući profesor na Sveučilištu New Mexico. Dobitnica je potpora od institucija poput: Arts Council of Great Britain, Illinois Arts Council, Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts, i City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
Njeni radovi su dio javnih (npr. kolekcija Corcoran u Washingtonu, DC ili u Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort, Nizozemska) i privatnih kolekcija u Evropi i SAD, a izlagani su na samostalnim i grupnim izložbama u više od trideset gradova širom svijeta.

Jay Alan Yim studirao je računalnu glazbu na sveučilištima Stanford and MIT, te kompoziciju na Sveučilištu California Santa Barbara, kao i na Royal College of Music te na Sveučilištu Harvard. Bio je stipendist sljedećih institucija: Zaklada Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Arts, Illinois Arts Council (čak tri puta), Tanglewood, Aspen, te mnoge druge. Njegova glazba izvođena je na internacionalnim glazbenim festivalima, a izvodili su je umjetnički ansambli poput: New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Nederlands Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Residentie Orkest Den Haag, Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble SurPlus, Arditti, JACK, and Spektral Quartets, Nieuw Ensemble, ICE, dal niente, Gareth Davis, and Frances-Marie Uitti.

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