micha cárdenas on Sun, 3 Apr 2011 19:55:41 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime-ann> Many Worlds, Many Times ARTifact Gallery Spring Exhibition

*Many Worlds, Many Times*

ARTifact Gallery Spring Exhibition

April 6 - June 10th, 2011

*Featuring the work of: *

Zach Blas

Sadie Barnette

Ela Boyd

Monica Duncan

Anya Gallaccio

Chris Head

Chris Kardambikis

Frankie Martin

Laura Odell

Nira Pereg

Cauleen Smith

Pinar Yoldas

Curated by Micha C?rdenas, mcardenas@ucsd.edu, 858-534-1207

Online exhibition and more information at http://cat.ucsd.edu

*Curatorial Statement*

??Hume?s empiricism is a sort of science-fiction universe *avant la lettre*.
As in science fiction, one has the impression of a fictive foreign world,
seen by other creatures, but also the presentiment that this world is
already ours, and those creatures, ourselves.?

- Gilles Deleuze, Pure Immanence: Essays on A Life

?El mundo que queremos es uno donde quepan muchos mundos.?

?In the world we want many worlds to fit.?

- Fourth Declaration of the Selva Lacandon, Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
Indigenous Clandestine Revolutionary Committee General Command of the
Zapatista Army of National Liberation Mexico

The courses in the Culture, Art and Technology program for Spring 2011 enact
a vision of a multiplicity of worlds and times, on many levels: the science
fiction imaginary, phenomenological approaches to time and a world
experienced through sound are just a few.

Imagining and building worlds is a practice that intersects with science,
art, politics and philosophy. While postmodern theories have been criticized
for obscuring reality and focusing excessively on language, emerging
theories of difference including postcolonial theory, queer theory and
disability studies may offer a different resolution of this impasse. ?Many
Worlds, Many Times? offers a number of models for imagining multiple,
simultaneous worlds and times. Theorists such as Jack Halberstam have made
?the perhaps overly ambitious claim that there is such a thing as ?queer
time? and ?queer space.??[1] On the other hand, one can see the acceptance
and embrace of multiple worlds, times and realities as a fundamental
characteristic of late postmodernism or post-postmodernism. While Frederick
Jameson has claimed that late postmodernism is characterized by a return to
the real, I argue that such a return is impossible. In contrast, thinkers
such as Halberstam and Gilles Deleuze propose a multiplicity of times and
spaces which coexist. What postcolonial and queer theories offer is a world
in which many worlds fit, to refer to the Zapatistas. In these theories of
difference, to attempt to claim that one hegemonic conception of time and
space is more real than others is unacceptable. Many contemporary artists
such as Blast Theory, Mez Breeze and my own work with Elle Mehrmand
demonstrate what I have termed the transreal: artworks that cross boundaries
of multiple realities with a nuance for a multiplicity of worlds, using
reality as a medium.

For the Spring 2011 ARTifact exhibition, I have chosen a number of artists
who enact the multiple worlds explored by the CAT curriculum this quarter.
Chris Kardambikis? paintings use comic-inspired imagery to enact a rich
science fiction world building project that resonates deeply with Prof. K.
Wayne Yang?s class ?Worldmaking?. Anya Gallaccio?s pieces in the show use
nanoscopic imagery to reveal the many worlds existing in the dirt on your
windowsill or sand on a beach. ?Actualities? by Ela Boyd speculates on the
multiple worlds held in objects: their pasts and futures, their perception
and their virtualities as objects in becoming. The French postmodernist
philosopher Deleuze writes about these modes of understanding the everyday
world as something other-worldly, when he states that ?Hume?s empiricism is
a sort of science-fiction universe *avant la lettre*?. The multiplicity of
the world as described by Deleuze here can be seen to support the visions of
writers such as Halberstam who envision multiple worlds from a standpoint of
differences in lived experience.

Nira Pereg?s work uses a closely related a strategy, which she calls
?re-looking?, and close observation. Pereg?s work explores the interplay of
public and private space, creating yet another way of imagining the multiple
worlds we pass through each day and how each of them have their own
qualities and change both how we perceive ourselves and how we act. This
quarter?s show will include Pereg, visiting Innovator-in-Residence at UCSD,
thanks to a collaboration with ArtPwr.

Many times are imagined by the artists in the show as well, demonstrating a
rich set of ideas for Prof. Stefan Tanaka?s class ?A History of Time: Time
and Modern Society? to engage with. Zach Blas? work ?Transcoder? imagines an
alternate way technology could have developed through his Queer Technologies
project. Transcoder includes impossible functions such as qTime(), inspired
by Halberstam?s writing, which would cause a computer to shift into an
alternate conception of time whenever called by a program. Frankie Martin?s
project ?Caught in the Web? explores the queer time of the internet through
a character lost in the web who wonders where she is and how long she?s been
there, all the while expressing a dysfunctional desire which longs for a
connection with another. Chris Head?s ?2-1? explores the endless algorithmic
time of video games by considering the time of a single character from the
game Super Mario Bros.

Cauleen Smith and Sadie Barnette?s pieces in the show engage the rich
history of Afro-futurism, in close dialog with K. Wayne Yang?s ?Worldmaking?
class, which goes beyond an understanding of the technical aspects of world
building in film or literature to examine the way that imagined worlds can
act as a lens on daily injustices and their possible future consequences.
Their works also enact the strange empiricism of Hume, described by Deleuze,
in which elements of everyday life slip into other places and times. Like
artists such as Sun-Ra, their work enacts possible futures that figure black
and African peoples at the center of their narratives, demonstrating the
power of science fiction as a mode of social critique. As the EZLN wrote in
their Second Declaration of the Selva Lacandon, their social movement
imagines and struggles for a world where many worlds fit, not one with a
hegemonic narrative, a single way of life and a privileged form of

Many of the works in the show cross boundaries by shifting both time and
space. Monica Duncan and Laura Odell?s ?Living Pictures (Behind the Auto
Store)? creates a world in which the main characters are perfectly still,
blending in with the environment and creating a photo out of a video. Still,
in the Living Pictures series the viewer is presented with the sound of the
world in real time, belying the fact that they are watching a video. These
scenes create an uncanny world, in which a person stands still but people
move around them, creating a crashing together of times as passers by stop
to look. This simple gesture of stillness creates a space of strangeness
where one imagines these characters operating at a different time scale or
trapped in a cosmic error of *dromos* out of sync with *chronos*. Duncan?s
work resonates with Nancy Guy?s course ?Listening to the World?, as the
viewer relies on sound cues to understand the strangely poetic scene before
their eyes and the ambient sounds come into sharp focus.

Evoking other-worldly biologies, Pinar Yoldas? work ?Fabula? also utilizes
an aesthetic of confusion which gives the viewer pause. Bizarre creatures
suspended in fluid evoke fantastic possibilities of alien biologies by
utilizing responsive sculpture. Both this work and Ela Boyd?s work in the
show play with the viewer?s perception, shifting through different meanings
with longer viewing and questioning such concepts as visual proof. They
bring to life questions from Tanaka?s course and Prof. Cheryl Peach?s course
such as these: how does technology relate to human perception,
representation, and social organization; how do we know what we know; and
how do we know we?re not wrong?

[1] Judith Halberstam, In A Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies,
Subcultural Lives, p. 1, NYU Press, New York and London, 2005

micha c?rdenas
Interim Associate Director of Art and Technology
Culture, Art and Technology Program, Sixth College, UCSD

Co-Author, Trans Desire / Affective Cyborgs, Atropos Press,
Artist/Researcher, UCSD School of Medicine
Artist/Theorist, bang.lab, http://bang.calit2.net

blog: http://transreal.org

gpg: http://is.gd/ebWx9

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