FUTURE MADE: FUTURE BUILT. 2009  
 
Slide 1

 

Acrylic resin, acrylic sheet, paper, plastic, florescent lights & unfinished sculpture of Karl Marx's severed head

3000 x 3000 x 2000mm(LxWxH)

 

This sculptural installation depicts what appears to be a family of benevolent white eagles, assembling a reflected cosmos within a fractured black-mirror universe. Three isolated but interconnected birds are frozen in mid-flight, their claws clasping a strange selection of illuminated geometric components. The sum of the bird's trinity and the geometry of the construction create a glowing crucifix-styled star configuration, with the largest of the eagles enthroned at the pinnacle. As a nearly universal symbol of power, the eagle is allegorically extended into a political domain through its cultural heritage, affording the symbol a double agenda. European fascism, old world imperialism (into the new world), the age of global interventionist politics and capitalism, and the advent of yet another saviour empire, are now all contained within each mirrored agendum. In this way, I am able to accumulate my symbols of power without prejudice. The crucifix-star-shaped artificial sun represents the centre, the protector, the provider of warmth and life, while simultaneously expressing the latent explosive danger inherent in the technological and eternal hydrogen bomb. Allegory is then unified with abstraction as this unofficial, asymmetric centre radiates and hovers above a shattered black, Perspex, mirror. Gravity suspended, time blurred, past, present and future possibilities laid out for our imagination to interpolate. The mirrored shards' temporal direction floats, pending an indeterminable entropic equilibrium. The idea of impending collapse, an imagined cracking of the broken reflection, is as omnipresent as the shards' transformation into a fragmented system of islands, which perform an invisible continental drift towards reunification. The audience's conceptual response is knowingly splintered through an exploitation of our (humankinds) collective drive toward seeing and understanding in binary.

 

 

 

Slide 1

 

Acrylic resin, acrylic sheet, paper, plastic, florescent lights & unfinished sculpture of Karl Marx's severed head

3000 x 3000 x 2000mm(LxWxH)

 

 

 

The frighting reality behind Give Them The Future's (2009) cosmic dissection is its cold neutrality. The work offers Nietzsche's omniscient metaphysial 'power' to be beyond good and evil as though it just is. The alchemic price of this journey, through a symmetrical history of galactic politics and global power that is unified within a distorted temporality, is a cosmic fatalism. 'Free will' or, the will to freedom is not destroyed but rather becomes insignificant within this larger metaphysial structure. Smart cells in the body and atomic instinct in planetary alignment all move according to the will imposed upon them. But what about their own micro-consciousness, their inner wills? Can they still retain a responsibility for self-making, parallel to and equal to the gravitational force of power. If they could, would it matter? Ultimately this complex meta-sculpture positions these questions in relation to time, space and meaning, the will to meaning, polarizing possibility itself, only to produce our hopes dreams and nightmares as one.

 

Slide 3

 

Acrylic resin, acrylic sheet, paper, plastic, florescent lights & unfinished sculpture of Karl Marx's severed head

3000 x 3000 x 2000mm(LxWxH)

 

 

 

 

Slide 4

 

Acrylic resin, acrylic sheet, paper, plastic, florescent lights & unfinished sculpture of Karl Marx's severed head

3000 x 3000 x 2000mm(LxWxH)

 

 

 

 

Slide 5

 

Acrylic resin, acrylic sheet, paper, plastic, florescent lights & unfinished sculpture of Karl Marx's severed head

3000 x 3000 x 2000mm(LxWxH)

 

 

 

 

 

High definition digital video (1920x1080)

12.10 minutes

 

The film Future made: Future Built (2009) humanizes the cold objective neutrality exhibited in Give Them The Future's (2009) by placing itself inside the invisible subject, inside the audience. The film revolves conceptually around the second phase of the Jupiter Mission depicted in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. This is modern man's (Dr. David Bowman, aka 'Dave') battle with the evolutionary Other - HAL (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic Computer). The question to human consciousness is mirrored in a technological consciousness. During HAL's death scene, the computer evidences a consciousness of its own existence; HAL's dying dialogue pertains to a kind of higher intelligence beyond artificial intelligence, beyond simply a tool.

 

HAL:

I'm afraid… Dave.

Dave.

My mind is going…. I can feel it.

My mind is going…. There is no question about it. I can feel it.

I can feel it.

I can feel it.

I'm afraid.

 

(Kubrick 1968 Film 2001: A Space Odyssey)

 

Future made: Future Built (2009) is a vision of an electronic brain dying, the technological Others inner-mindscape fading out of existence. The film's opening sequence purposely positions the audience as the subject behind a revolving perspective that explores the technological Other through a series of shattered portals. The camera's pitch slopes downward peering through a series of black windows that open into the world of the Other. Its vision gradually becomes clearer as its initial dizzying velocity descends along a mechanical arc toward its final, motionless destination. The accompanying audio sample is a composite conversation between the two astronauts Dr. David Bowman and Dr. Frank Poole from 2001 as they discuss the processes and repercussions involved with disconnecting, and killing HAL's higher brain functions. The suspense of the piece builds as the viewing protagonist's revolution slows to reveal portions of the other subject. The audience is then taken through the portal and is confronted directly with the image of the Other as Subject: a golden glowing crucifix-styled star configuration and a breathing mass of technological light. As this explosive mass of light levitates, it restarts the observer's previously discontinued revolution; its radiant light builds toward a blinding crescendo that obscures the entire field of vision in white and silence. The enigmatic object of our desire then emerges slowly into focus through this illuminated emptiness. Its very Otherness contradictorily intensified with the intense clarity and perfection captured within its sharp artificial image.

 

This paradoxical intensification of the enigmatic or punctum-object is realised through the pure technological Other: its computer generated duplicate as a simulated Other. The sequence of scenes that follows continues to replicate this inverse duplicated perspective, flickering between the mirror image of the real and of the simulated reflection of the real. The viewer is trapped in an infinitely disorientating cycle of perceptual flux. Even the original horizon, established on the other side of the shattered black windows, is displaced when the seductive depth of these portals is flattened, repelling the viewer backwards. These windows oscillate their very 'being' between a transparent entrance and a reflective barrier that mirrors an unknowable surrounding landscape. As these windows close, the unexplained object of our contemplation becomes silent and its breath is literally transferred to the viewer, from third person to first person perspective. The viewer is now no longer an idol spectator; his breath is one and the same with the filmic breath. The camera's lens as eyes completes the inverse of the technological view when It follows the line of sight directly into the human subject – into their consciousness, the ultimate Enigmatic Other and possibly into the soul?

 

In this divided self, the other, a jealous rival, constituted yet an-other condition of subjectivity, and the work of art, based on the existence of a symmetrical and brilliant double, assured the possibility of a reflective shuttling back and forth, of a harmonious or painful synthesis of opposing impulses.

 

(Melchinoe~Bonnet 2001 p264)