In the 2019 Graduation Exhibition at the Mona Bismarck American Center, Art, Media and Technology graduates exhibited immersive artistic installations addressing diverse subjects including human perception, social consciousness and the relationship between nature and technology. Congratulations to Malique, Eman and Eliana for the beautiful, thought-provoking experiences created through their work.
Keepin’ it Real
Keepin’ it Real is an immersive four-channel video installation exploring multifaceted experiences of the contemporary black person, through the eyes of Malique Lee Moore, a young African-American artist at the Parsons Schools of Arts in Paris. The piece examines W.E.B Du Bois’ research on double consciousness to articulate the depictions of the characters and experiences seen throughout the installation. Largely referencing popular culture in both France and the United States, the installation mixes music, performance, and cinema to critique the singular narratives existing within mainstream black popular culture. The piece thus offers counter-narratives of blackness, queerness, and gender, utilizing eclectic references ranging from Greek mythology, vogue ballroom culture, surrealism, and satirical television.
Experimental Ecologies is a design fiction work hypothesizing a future system around symbiotic relationships between humans and the biosphere. This project places itself in a hypothetical era, interpreting theories of Political Ecology and Eco-Socialism in design context. The project incorporates various ecological studies and scientific data.
A possible future is one where we are able to reiterate our exploitative relationship with the biosphere and transform our modes of existence to develop a new way of living. This project situates itself in this context to create a critical discourse in light of our current impending climate catastrophe. It conceptualizes the political and social dynamics of this future existence. It proposes a system in which algae, a bio-resource will replace traditional resources through its potentials of bio-fuel, food, materials and as a carbon sink. However the algae will only be able to survive through a bodily relationship with an individual that can provide it with resources for growth such as carbon dioxide. Therefore our survival will be mutually codependent on this crucial organism. This symbiosis will create new bio-realities, exploring the possibilities of the future ‘post-anthropocene.’ This project explores design to facilitate this system whilst exploring the philosophies and aesthetics of this possible sustainable future.
The narrative is depicted in the form of an installation and a book. It proposes a reconsideration of our current sensitivity and outlook towards non-humans and to imagine its progression in both realistic and radical forms.
Photograph of a Sunrise : 234 – 248; 2’38” – 2’48”; 3315 – 3513; 234 – 248
Throughout my multicultural education and my studies, I have always been pushed to travel, and therefore to adapt to numerous languages and cultures, as most of my close family lives in various parts of the globe, and, as communication and information distortion have become major issues in the context of a lobalized and hyper connected world, addressing the conservation of, or loss of, a message or an essence through translation, or transduction, seemed like a major direction to drive my work towards. In parallel, I have always been very influenced by the sound system culture and “Bass” based music genres, and developed a strong interest for their communicative power, which led me to use low frequency sound as a material for my art practice. Infrasound and low frequency vibrations (ILFV), the lowest range of sound, nearly inaudible to human ears, have become very present in both natural and urban contexts due to the multiplication of turbines, ventilation systems or broader machine vibrations, which generate most of this imperceptible rumble and appear to vehicule emotions (Volcler) and information (Elephas Maximus). Photograph of a Sunrise : 234 – 248; 2’38” – 2’48”; 3315 – 3513; 234 – 248 uses four different languages; image, sound, text and space, and is meant to be felt rather than seen, but aims to suggest an idea of transduction, of information passed, altered or lost through media transfer. The technique of Databending, a Glitch art practice developed in the early 2000’s by “Web” artists, allows to convert, for instance, image data to sound. In its original use, effects are applied to the sound in order to randomly alter the data when re-converted to image.
Photograph of a Sunrise : 234 – 248; 2’38” – 2’48”; 3315 – 3513; 234 – 248 uses its original set of data (here, a color composition based on a sunrise picture taken in San Teodoro, Italy, September 2018) which is transposed to a sonic medium, appearing as harmonious and pleasant at times, but abyssal and overwhelming at others, is 8’38” long. The sound is then converted to text. These three languages, all expressing the same set of data, appear in a dark room in which a few blocks on the ground are lit from above. The fourth language, space, is a numeric reading of the space (using an x;y chart). On each block lies a stack of paper named by ranges (Range I, II, III), revealing a section of the cryptic text obtained from data conversion. Each Range stack (text) indicates the amount of space, time and image in its textual translation.
The viewer wonders through the installation, questioning its meaning and cryptic coded language, reflecting on the way our sensors perceive each of these different media, which substantially are various expressions of the same information. Consequently, Photograph of a Sunrise : 234 – 248; 2’38” – 2’48”; 3315 – 3513; 234 – 248 puts in perspective the complexity of accessing an unknown language, as its emotional, sensorial and structural codes may be fundamentally different.
Photos : Anael Boulay