Aesthetics of DEMOS:
Domesticating Escapes in Meta-Organic Simulation
Duo exhibition with Juliusz Grabianski, AMP Gallery, 10-12.03.2023
As we watch the world burn and societies collapse, we can’t help but wonder: what makes the apocalypse so sexy?
According to the Strauss–Howe generational theory, western history repeats itself in 80 year cycles. The very end of each cycle, known as the Crisis, is what we are living through right now. A single glance at the news would be enough to send a Victorian child into a coma - and yet, at a time of imminent catastrophe, dystopian aesthetics proliferate in all aspects of culture. From fashion and cinema, to art and music, apocalypse is so very in.
What is the appeal of the apocalypse? Is our death drive alive and well, or perhaps are we craving a fresh start, a blank slate to start with instead of fixing what’s broken? Or maybe our obsession with the gloomy is a defence mechanism - if the future has been cancelled and we’re all heading towards our demise, we might as well look good doing it.
Nuclear anxieties are back, but the Cold War panic seems to have spread beyond the atomic bomb - incomprehensible technologies dictate almost every aspect of our lives. Historically, technology has often been described as Satan’s work, and after all, the apocalypse has religious origins. Perhaps we are living at the end of times - or perhaps everyone else before us thought so too.
“The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.” - Antonio Gramsci
- text by Juliusz Grabianski
I do not know where my virtual being ends and where I begin.
my first encounter with machine was on my walk to a mountain’s summit.
damp twigs and bark were cradling my shoes.
the woods leaned over me as if concerned to allow only a handful of sun rays through its branches.
I sat by a stream to listen to the song of a sparrow and breathe in the scent of moss and licorice.
the feeling of ‘meh’ hit me and I took my VR headset off.
the walk did not happen - not that way, nor to that purpose.
thoughts taken out of context impress upon you, the visitor, the romantic sense of escape.
you, as the main character, achieve a new sense of awareness - a naïveté of driving a story unfazed.
an escape from life that life in its other mediated forms does not offer as compellignly.
reality at present appears to be grasped and articulated from a fusion of references and tastes in free fall, all unmoored from their provenance.
almost like autumn leaves, though the latter will soon re-enter a well established cycle of life.
the brambles of fusion point at unexplored directions and promise unproven outputs.
a machine reaching land undiscovered by man reads as a token to algorithmic intelligence - a prime source of excitement for developers and daddy investors.
of course, mycelium etcetera have been here far before our technologically assisted travel.
matter exists as ‘a dynamism of forces in which all designated “things” are constantly exchanging and diffracting, influencing and working inseparably’ - ‘intra-action’, naturally. But who’s to notice - or care?
reimagining dissonance performs a profound understanding of time.
the ability to adapt and be flexible is the false impression of feeling settled with uncertainty.
‘trash’ is ‘cool’, the ultimate aesthetic of today.
the stacking of artistic genres and methodologies form the subject and context of distant impressions of meaning.
all flow into the machine to lend it mystery, history, the ability to speculate.
speculation and visualisation are intrinsic to surviving the doom of precarity.
speculation and visualisation are intrinsic to toying with the seduction of precarity.
starved for the mythical and magical, all demos postulates parallel universes - maximalist presents subsuming alternate histories - where everything could happen and is happening all at once automatically.
where everything is kind to the people; to the woke main character.
in the face of imminent disaster, why bother avert it?
all demos, greedy and ignorant, can reside in multiverse theory at the expense of Earth and common sense.
‘In the face of disaster, why bother avert it?’
Metahuman animation, Al chatbot, epoxy clay, copper sulphate, silicone, windshield, wires, wood, aluminium
‘the feeling of 'meh' hit me and I took my VR headset off’
Epoxy clay, moss, glass, copper sulphate, twig, egg crate, aluminium, Google Earth
‘I do not know where mv virtual being ends and where I begin.’
Wood, epoxy, copper, copper sulphate, soil, plastic, wires
‘The brambles of fusion promising unproven outputs’
Steel, aluminium, foliage, sillicone, epoxy clay, rocks, plastic