As part of Emerge: A Festival of Futures, 2022
Arizona, United States
November 14-20, 2022
ASU MIX Center
50 N. Centennial Way, Mesa, AZ 85201
Hours: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, M-F
Philipp Avetisov, Vasilii Bakanov, Alexander Bochkov, Alexandra Dementieva, Anna Frants, Ivan Govorkov, Alexey Grachev, Elena Gubanova, Ivan Karpov, Katran, Alexandra Lerman, Oleg Malenok, Andrew Strokov.
Anna Frants, Elena Gubanova, Lydia Griaznova.
The exhibition is organized by the CYLAND MediaArtLab as a part of the CYFEST-14 International Media Art Festival program.
CYFEST-14: Ferment Arizona showcases the works of thirteen artists, most of them developed out of CYLAND’s long-term collaborative programs to demonstrate how meaningful art can be to communicate complex stories while bringing forth deeper connection and understanding to our hybrid “fermented” environments.
Some of these artworks are on loan from the Kolodzei Art Foundation and provided specifically for the exhibition.
Swipe Swipe Swipe by Alexandra Lerman (installation, 2017–2019)
This work explores the invisible abstraction of contract law that exists between the movement of human fingers and the backlit glass of the smartphone screen. The copyrighted, choreographed gestures of the “swipe,” “slide to unlock” and “pinch-to-zoom” are performed by millions each day and are owned by Apple, Inc. A series of clay smartphones are imprinted with indexical “portraits” of these ephemeral and often unconsciously executed touch-screen gestures. These sculptures are installed on a wall painted Rose Gold — a color invented in the nineteenth century by Carl Faberge as a new chromatic alloy of gold and copper. In 2015, Apple released the Rose Gold version of the iPhone and consequently the color was named one of the top trends of 2016 by Pantone. Today Rose Gold is routinely referred to as the “millennial pink” or the “Russian gold.”
Artist Union. Still life. by Anna Frants
From the series “Matter of Chance” Media Installation, 2019 OpenCV, Python; 3D printing, ink on paper, stepper motors, servomotors, microcontroller, Raspberry Pi, webcamera, oil on plywood Engineers Alexey Grachev, Alexander Bochkov, Viсtor Timofeev; 3D modeling Alexey Grachev, Alexander Bochkov; Python programming Alexey Grachev, Ruslan Khadzhimirzoev Kolodzei Collection of Russian and Eastern European Art, Kolodzei Art Foundation, USA Supported by CYLAND Media Art Lab “Artist Union. Still life” is a reflection on the law of large numbers. Is it applicable in visual arts — to colors in painting, lines in graphics, forms in sculpture, and the image integrity in installations? The law of large numbers is a principle that describes the completion of the same experiment many times. According to this law, the joint action of a large number of random factors leads to a result almost independent of the chance. For example, in the XVI century the length of the English foot was defined, by a royal order, as the arithmetic average length of the foot of the first 16 people leaving the church on Sunday matins. Although the law of large numbers was not yet defined, it serves as the basis for the principle of arithmetic mean used in determining the length of a foot.
Sleeper by Alexandra Dementieva
Interactive sound installation, 2015–present time Tapestry, AR, Artivive Kolodzei Collection of Russian and Eastern European Art, Kolodzei Art Foundation, USA A series of tapestries together forms an installation that presents a sequence of film frames from the movie “Sleeper” by Woody Allen. The movie has been glitched and accidentally “edited” by the artist’s crashed computer, becoming completely transformed and practically unrecognizable. The order of narrative development has been rigorously preserved: the still images are arranged in the same sequence as they appear in the film. The tapestries convey the movie’s plot, but in their own way, where some parts have been lost and others have remained. The size of each tapestry is 58×77 cm, which corresponds to the television and film format (4×3) of the 20th century. The artist uses an old visual technique: the art of weaving. Even if contemporary digital media were destroyed, this technique would be preserved. By pointing a tablet with an AR application at a tapestry, visitors can watch a video which gives an explanation for each tapestry. The video is made from the perspective of human descendants / space travelers, who have found the tapestries 2000 years later. Their conclusion is that the tapestry is a way to archive film and video from the 20th-21st centuries. The film they find is Sleeper, a science fiction movie about a dystopian world.
BPM — Blobs Per Minute by Oleg Malenok, Vasily Bakanov, Alexey Grachev, Andrew Strokov, Alexander Bochkov
Beats Per Minute (BPM) is an essential concept in music denoting the rhythm and speed of a track in quarter notes. Blobs Per Minute (BPM) is the essential parameter which denotes the intensity of the fermentation. The basis of the installation is a drum kit and alcohol fermentation system. Together, they form a closed system in which the fermentation process is the source and initiator of sound. The sound in the installation is completely analogue and is formed in real time. The rhythm that the drum sticks beat out depends on the fermentation process. Carbon dioxide is released, and a blob is formed and becomes an impulse for the drum stick movement. In each vessel, the process takes place with differing intensity. The combination of the ingredients, the temperature, the properties of the drum kit and the fermentation system — all of these things determine the process and nature of fermentation, as well as the rhythmical pattern of the music created. The resulting soundtrack is additional data, an analysis of which helps to gain a better understanding of the fermentation process. The working principle of the installation resembles a creative process with the need to present the result to the world. In the installation, sound is a sign of life, just as artistic projects are a sign of life in art. A sense of timeliness is useful in both cases — whether the process is complete, or more time is needed for the idea to reach maturity. If it is kept too long or stopped prematurely, the process may end in failure, becoming incomprehensible or incomplete. Or it may ferment excessively and deteriorate.
ˈkʌr(ə)nt by Ivan Karpov
A solar panel powers up a small pump that runs water particles within plastic tube circuit. The speed of water movement depends on the intensity of the Sun, visualizes and thus represents the energy flow. If you think about it, every form of life, every living being could be seen as a matter transformation process driven by our suns energy. Every process has its own time period and frequency. Some of them last for ages, other finish within seconds. On the other hand, it is hard to say where one starts and the other ends, everything is connected in this planetary scale fermentation process. Only one remains the same, the Sun, the catalyst doing its job. Each plant is a perfect illustration of this concept, especially since they transform sunlight directly. Edible plants make it even better, because when we consume them we convert further. I welcome every visitor of the Summer house. Here you will find herbal tea leaves that I’ve collected and processed during this summer in my native forest in Russia. I kindly offer you to brew a hot cup of tea and review a short story of each herb with a glimpse of the idea of global transformation. We all are a part of one chain. We have to care for each other and everything around us. Please, have a good time.
Slow burning. Still Life by Vasilii Bakanov and Andrew Strokov
Installation, 2020 (edition of 2021) OpenCV, Python, Arduino; 3x black box (thermally insulated), heaters, temperature and humidity sensor, HD webcam, flood light, DIN rail, microcontroller modules, Raspberry PI, Korg Monotron Delay, fruits Engineers Andrew Strokov, Alexey Grachev, Alexander Bochkov; 3D modeling Alexander Bochkov; Python programming Andrew Strokov Supported by CYLAND Media Art Lab Three fruits on pedestals are contained inside a black box. In artificially created and regularly maintained conditions, the fruits pass through three chemical reactions — caramelization, the Maillard reaction and enzymatic browning. Usually, these processes take place within minutes in cooking. Here they are intentionally prolonged in time. Inside the box constant humidity and a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius are maintained, thus killing bacteria which cause decay. In ideal and constantly controlled conditions, the fruits preserve their form, and burn up inside from day to day at the lowest possible speed. Visitors can observe the slowly burning still life by watching it in real-time on the video panel placed on the boxes. But the main activity remains hidden and takes place at the molecular level. Its tangible manifestation is a monotonous soundtrack performed by the fruits themselves. Information about the external appearance of each fruit is converted into sound waves. The processes inside the box are analyzed and sonified by an analog synthesizer. The sound pitch and timbre depend on temperature, humidity, fruit size and color. As the fruit burns up, the sound “burns up” as well and becomes increasingly dull and quiet. The process is an artificially prolonged borderline state of “in between”. The metamorphosis is too slow to perceive by the naked eye. Because of the unnatural maximum delay, all differences vanish in the abyss of time to the accompaniment of a droning trio. However, it is still an open question as to whether the process will proceed in the way that was intended. Every effort has been made, all we can do is to wait and see what will happen next. Image caption: Vasilii Bakanov and Andrew Strokov, Slow burning. Still Life (open-ended), Installation, 2020 © Authors and CYLAND MediaArtLab, image by Alexander Bochkov
A Thousand Handshakes by Katran
Objects; ceramics, glaze, 2022 The project builds upon Sergey Katran’s years of research exploring the ways in which the biocentric concept impacts ethical ties and building special society networks. That said, we register a certain correlation between grassroots initiatives of artistic communities’ networks, and mycelia. Both are based on thin, interlaced fibers of daily existence. Various forms of cooperation and mutual assistance act as a binding principle in all this. Altruism is viewed as an inalienable component of the biocenosis and aided by the ethical element in anarchist ideas, and these two permanent constituents are present in the life of animal communities, plants and fungi, and occur in natural environments, as well as in human society. Self-organization as a grassroots, independent initiative, confirms the viability of its alternative ethical practices and behaviors that radically differ from those adopted by capitalist societies geared for profit, and based on manipulation to achieve higher standards of living. Mutual communal support is a vital component of artistic practices. By self-organizing as groups, artists find optimal ways of existence steeped in equality and mutual responsibility. The first handshake upon meeting becomes the metaphor for an encounter of kindred artistic souls. Mushroom anarchy, as a metaphor for grassroots symbiotic artistic communities, establishes the hubs of respect for those living entities that are prone to empathetic behaviors and for interspecies altruism in their joint search for a way out of the environmental and cognitive impasse.
Life as Life. STYX by Elena Gubanova & Ivan Govorkov
Installation, 2016 Kolodzei Collection of Russian and Eastern European Art, Kolodzei Art Foundation, USA Usually, Time is regarded as a line (theoretically, a line of endless length), on which the present moment is a point in constant motion. But this line may also be regarded as a succession of points in different positions, so that any moving or changing object may be interpreted as a number of motionless versions of “shots” of oneself. The artists observe the serene flow of life, but at the same time disrupt the “arrow of time”. Life consists of repetitions which seem to combine to form a single “river”. The video of people floating serenely along the river from one screen to another actually shows the same moment, which is multiplied and repeated, devoid of past and future, and joined into a cycle.
Symphony for Bicycles by Alexey Grachev and Alexander Bochkov
Installation, performance, 2021 (edition of 2022) The artists on the bikes regulate the sound and rhythm by their pedaling, and together create the final work. How the “symphony” is performed depends on the motion of both cyclists. The intentions and aspirations of the participant acquire sonic expression. They may become synchronized, and try to turn the pedals in the same rhythm, to be in harmony. Or they may intentionally disturb this and cause harmonic fluctuations, creating complex combinations of sounds that arise when movements are not synchronized. This is an experiment on what an object is capable of besides its original purpose. The functionality of a technological object here is valued not for its usability, but for the distinguishing feature which determines what sound will be created. The other aim of the work is to reveal rhythms and connections in space whose existence usually is not grasped in everyday life. Potentially, a sound may be produced from any object. In this project, the source of sound is the “bicycle-human” techno-assemblage. The abstract sound of a bicycle incorporated in the installation refers to all the “wordless” processes and objects which elude direct observation, but still play an important role determining the sort of world that we live in.