Salonul de Proiecte accommodates the internet these days. Oh! Bucharest, you are so lucky. On the occasion of the well pervaded, forward-looking and go-ahead of time 12th edition of Rokolectiv, we got sucked in a hyperspace that speaks a socio-political dialect on the man-machine sensuality and its aftermath. Only for four days, the artificiality meets death from a machine mediated perspective. The space feels like a freshly started notebook to me. And the afterlife notes are written in wording that I speak loads in Berlin.
On the side of au courant sound mishmash (oh cyber almighty, Princess Nokia is here) the exhibition, almost like a compendium, discloses immortality through The 3D Additivist Manifesto of Morehshin Allahyari & Daniel Rourke (IR/US), Amy Whittle’s (NL) afterlife preparation built with a deceased animal, the Choclea (snails) resonance chambers by Nona Inescu in collaboration with Vlad Nancă and peachy Chlorys (RO), an HD visual navigation through materiality of the Web by Chatonsky (FR), a beautifully delusional new human parade by Lu Yang (CN) and the alien-material experience through an app by the art + technology studio Disk Cactus (US).
The crowd is sexy through the first sight inspection. The internet is here and it comes with a lot to process in very few questions. I knew the cookbook, another extremity of Additivism project, from alien matter in Haus der Kulturen der Welt. The Manifesto starts over. We end discussions and get dumped in an oily pond that is both reminding and predicting of a plastic catastrophe. 3D printing, glitch, revolution, brutality, beauty – Additivism takes and adds to what we think we know of what we just saw and heard. There is only love left for such emotional cluster between flesh and machine. A lot more on the conjuring institution of Additivism in the upcoming print issue of Revista ARTA!
Beauties roam around a dead body. Guesstimations. A friend calls it an object. It’s a local animal from a rescue shelter. I knew before anything else that a dead body was in the room. People made faces. Intrigued. Oh, now I figured the visual on the poster. I get reminded how unfamiliar we are with death. It’s not only a privilege, but a seductive encounter to see Amy Whittle sipping wine and manipulating some cables. Despite the speculations, the red and blue visuals under the animal are created through an analog circuit which has as a primary source the carcass of the corpse itself.
A clean and shiny faience table is fully occupied by 20 small snail shells and wires. A 3 minutes soundscape is looping as people lured and tempted reconnect with a mystical extremity of nature – shells that are acted upon to make sound. Finally! If the Afterlife comes from Amy’s Artificial Afterlife, the affect comes from the lucid work Echo. This net of sound that drops us from anatomy to allegory and from innocence to discernment grants a comprehensible eventuality.
The internet is here, I get reminded of my favourite sentence this evening. Tristan, one of the visual adventurers of the sexy-cyborg condition + plentiful burden through body scapes, puts it very easy over a chat: “I relate more to this than a painting, you know what I mean?”. I sense the new materiality of both craft and artistry in recent art as an advance driven privilege. The slow, thrilling drift through alleys of boxes, lights and cables is Chantonsky’s Horizont. I want to drift with it and bathe in selfies but I am playing the disciplined. The internet is me and that is a condition.
I maybe missed the poetry for a while but luckily I saved the Delusional Mandala for my last minutes in Palatul Universul. I get a good throwback to 3hd Festival in Berlin in Wang New One’s work. The human presence meets the absence of sexuality. I underline they meet. And it gets so mystical in its energetical form that all that we recognize becomes a parallel reality. It becomes clear after you read the text that Lu Yang manages to play a little with our precious old discovery, the limbic system.
I am ready for the music. Or for the sound. Expansion, my dears. Rokolectiv is expanding our thinking machines. It is my afteraffect.
Jasmina Al-Qaisi (b. 1991) is a visual ethnographer and a cultural correspondent. She lives in Berlin and works in the archive of the art and project space Savvy Contemporary....