Plant Activation

A Nonsense Lab Artist Con-fessional, Part Two

Con-fessional: Artlab-Retina

2. Plant Activation

Processes fold into processes. Some occur imperceptibly, while some are entered into as a sort of energetic system. Still others require a dynamic generation of their own and a particular machine from which they may emerge.

Suburbia: an idyllic dilation of spacetime for the walking subject, wrought from enlarged optics and ever-efficient motors. But bordering on a pathology, no? One does not require an advanced degree in rhythmanalysis to readily perceive here a qualitative shift in everyday dwelling and commerce. Simply defer one's acceleration and go for a walk. Soak up the affective tones that float in a weird energy field of synchronized motions and petroleum afterthoughts.

It is four months before the experiment will begin. The end of the road seems far off in the distance, yet here it is: the end of the road has come to me. I'm approaching the cul-de-sac near my temporary home for this project, an approach I have made several times already while in residence. But on this evening I perceive it freshly anew: as the tiny neighbourhood street yields to the loop of the cul-de-sac it becomes apparent that I have stumbled upon a mass produced gallery-reactor component in the wilds of suburbia.

Con-fessional: Loop

Is it the mathematical form-as-such of the circle with its ocular connotations that have been perceived here? One suspects not, for I am walking along a tiny pedestrian corridor that connects two of the vast asphault conduits carved for automobile use. I do not take the god's eye perspective — if we could even describe a singular vertex of the gaze here rather than an open field of view — but instead the much less acute angle from eye level on the walking body to street level, which varies ever-so-slightly as I emerge from the pedestrian corridor and approach the bend in the road.

Or is it rather the feltness of a certain intensity that has been perceived and retrieved from the body — a certain history of automobiles turning counterclockwise around the loop, a certain domestic gaze whose radiance converges upon a roughly-described middle, the total assembly a certain pattern that repeats itself throughout the great suburban tracts and lends them an organic homogeneity? This is what I discovered in the wilds, only verified thereafter by checking the proper schematics.

Con-fessional: Gmap

Perhaps we can sample the unique rhythmic energy of this space to generate a boost for our experimental processes? Rather than slowing down in the face of accelerated living, can we attempt to meet speed with speed — at least fleetingly? Ultimately we are not concerned here simply with acceleration-as-strategy, but rather with developing abilities to modulate tempo as necessary. Further, our interest lies with developing a corresponding ethics of such: when to accelerate or decelerate, and how do variously contingent communities organically put these decisions into praxis? How are various techniques transduced? How to plant seeds without growing roots?

Con-fessional: Imago-Missing

Department of Biological Flow
Imago (Kino-Butterfly - Someone Might Be Listening - Lorenz Security Ltd.)
2011
performance

 

Plants, tempos and cross-pollinating processes: this sounds like an opportunity for mecha butterflies to emerge from the experiential fold. The species Homo generatus lepidopterae makes explicit the energy located within the relation, the movement of bodies between surface and volume, and the potential for strange attraction in the awkward motions of gaited flight.

How to write a program for the mecha butterflies, appropriate to the task at hand, not so gaseous as to become meaningless yet not so solid as to stifle the potentials of contingency? As with any tide of intensity that in-forms, you only get one shot to perform the generation into existence, only one chance to make a first impression.

 

Department of Biological Flow
Process Machine for Plant Activation (Homo generatus lepidopterae)
2011
performance
(youtube video - 26:39)

 

Program:
[1] The two Department of Biological Flow particles will begin the process at opposite points on the circular orbit. [2] One particle begins walking around the circle counter-clockwise toward the other stationary particle, who holds the relay baton. [3] A camera will serve as the relay baton. [4] When the moving particle reaches the stationary particle it shall bump the stationary particle into motion along the same orbital trajectory. [5] The baton shall be passed backwards each time two particles collide. [6] The orbital velocity shall increase with each revolution until both particles are in motion, at varying speeds. [7] Once both particles are in motion the orbital velocity for either particle may decelerate, so long as the overall energy in the system stays relatively constant (ie. if one particle slows to a walk, the other must accelerate to a run). [8] The performance ends when the plant has been activated.

 

Con-fessional: Plant Activation

Department of Biological Flow
Process Machine for Plant Activation (Homo generatus lepidopterae)
2011
performance

 

Suburban fatigued, traces of the performance captured, the mecha butterflies return from the techno-organic wilds to the concrete enclosures of the institutional curriculum — the latter which gets its name from the Latin currere or running. We run in search of knowledge, or at least to generate a certain future potential between us — but how to store the energy? What will the archive bear? What can be folded from one performance to the next, and so forth — embodied, relational, imagined?

Con-fessional: Exhaustion

Department of Biological Flow
Exhaustion
2011
coffee, antacid, eye shadow and duct tape on synthetic dropsheet

 

The finish line just out of reach: fluttering, experimental, exhausted.

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