Friday, 21 November 2008

Notes on Flights of Reality

Picked up this exhibition catalogue from Kettle's Yard visit. If from the exhibition Flights of Reality which was there 12 January - 3 March 2002

Now I know I'm not doing any more on fourth dimensions! but had to blog these extracts:

Charles Avery, Matthew Ritchie, Keith Tyson, Grace Weir, Keith Wilson

Flights of Reality parallels science in uncovering new routes of thought. Drawing on myth, science, empirical observation, information theories, and philsosophy, the works oscillate between the familiar and the unknown, between revealed truths and imaginary worlds. The exhibition brings together new and recent work by five contemporary artists who pursue aberrant lines of thought to create competing versions of a world nudged from its everyday axis. The works could be described as thoughts in progress mapping out patterns of the possible, or the debris of ideas that remain in the collision between science and the everyday. In their creation of new or rvial cosmologies, these playful and speculative works are reminders of the ways in which we do not see the world.

"I had the sensation of suddenly awaking on a calendarless day at a place that appeared on no map. You are free to call this sufficiency flight, if you wish." - Kobo Abe

In the amorphous chaos of the everyday, and of the unquantifiable and indetermine nature of knowledge, physicists are now proposing the theory of 'many worlds' or 'parallel universes' (Multiverse). [In Avery's work] the familiarity of the scene emphasises the chasm that has opened up between our experience of the world and the narratives used to construct it which have no basis in any observable reality.

The scale of Keith Tyson's work is immense in both production and ambitiion, which strives for nothing less than to rethink every aspect of the universe from every conceivable point of view. (Inspiring!) The improvised nature of many of the works could be described as thoughts in progress mapping out patterns of the possible.

[Charles Avery] Artists are among the most privileged members of a privileged society. The greatest of their privileges is solitude; the opportunity to imagine - 'The Freedom of the Universe'.[...]An idea is a journey, however brief. A dream is an intrepid adventure, and artists are professional dreamers. Professional, because they must bring back souvenirs. The souvenirs of their dreams are artifacts that they sell to fund their dreaming, but when these artifacts are expatriated from their realm they lose their lustre, like Bengal tigers in a Scottish zoo.[...]The problem is evident; as soon as an idea is committed to reality and subjected to reality's empirical glare, it becomes a flawed article, a shadow of its ethereal self. [...] art belongs in the ether.

The status of the object would be as a portal, or a trigger, which would invoke the art in the mind's eye of the viewer. The artworks themselves would better be described as entities, rather than objects, but the term I favour most, is ghosts.

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