Karen David, ‘Zoltar IV’ (2014)
Combining references to Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, John McCracken’s minimalist sculptures and also Timothy Leary’s work during the 1960s and 70s, the works respond to the notion of artists communicating with extraterrestrial life forms (either real or imagined), using the form of the standing stone and Monolith as a jumping off point. While these orientation points are clearly visible throughout the works, the artists have taken these ideas and forms into an engaging series of explorations that are concerned with both the themes of the exhibition as well as the specifics of their different mediums.
The second exhibition within the ‘Sci-Fi Paganism’ series by Lucy A. Sames, exploring the nature of communication and mythology within art. Taking inspiration from the 20th century, as well as the renaissance of occultism, new age spiritualism, and the space race that occured within the middle of this time period, the works attempt to understand the nature of communication within art, and how art could be utilised as a means of communicating with extra terrestrial life (whether they be real, or imagined). There are some interesting themes running through the exhibition, with the bright colours of Karen David’s ‘crystal’ paintings reflecting the tie dye era of the 60’s, with the seemingly inherent power of crystals being a very common belief amongst new age spiritualists, as well as the notion of the minimalist form. These ‘bright colours’ are also brought up within the multi-screen video work ‘ETx2014’ by Superlative TV is another timely highlight within the show. Installed as three televisions atop one another in a nod to the Monolith form, the images form a transmission of sorts, to be projected into space for potential future discovery by alien life forms. The work is comprised of public submissions, as well materials sourced through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk), and is due to be broadcast as an audio collage via Resonance FM as well as via a deep space telescope in late October this year.
The minimalist forms inherent within the works are very interesting, as well as the notion of the ‘monolith’, which is something I have explored before, and intend to craft with these computers. The large black form, one that holds a wealth of knowledge, and is an imposing, otherworldly being, bears a great resemblance to the the black, block-like form of a computer. It’s actually fascinating to observe this repetition of form between the man-made, and the seemingly alien, and how the delicate stream of likeness flows between these two forms, despite them coming from seemingly ‘different’ origins.