Solar Heresies at Mammal Gallery
I met Meredith Kooi at the Mammal gallery on a cold winter day. She gave me a tour of Solar Heresies, the eclectic exhibition she curated. Organized around the idea of what lies in the space between physics and metaphysics, the exhibition contains sculpture, video, photography, transmission art, works on paper, and performance.
Ian Cone, Heliocentric Revolution #1-42 (2014)
On her interest in sciences and technology, Meredith says: “My interests in the relationship between technology and art coalesce in the history and philosophy of science – both modern and pre-modern/ancient. My previous work focused on the human sciences and was concerned mostly with the understanding and representation of autoimmune disorders. I was really interested in how immunology’s categorization of self and non-self is a reflection of historically metaphysical categories. Part of the work I was doing was an examination of the metaphoricity of biology and physiology. However, the work was also deeply rooted in the “actual” scientific research of these conditions/diseases. However, over time, my interests in biological life has broadened – I am now considering the generation of life writ large and look to ancient cosmologies and modern Continental philosophy’s explanations of Being, how Being came to be, and our relation to the world. A lot of my attention is paid to the notion of “ether,” in terms of its modern connotations of radio and Wifi, its previous scientific explanations concerning matter, and its metaphysical significations – a multifarious and amorphous term that Joe Milutis expounds in his 2006 book Ether: The Nothing That Connects Everything. Some of the works can more specifically coincide with art + tech – for example, Brett Ian Balogh’s All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (2010) and Ian Cone’s Solar Synthesis (2014) and Heliocentric Revolution #1-42 (2014). However, many of the other works align with the history of science and scientific processes as well.
Brett Ian Balogh‘s All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (2010), (Both Images)
Andrew Boatright’s sculptures are very much historically linked to Andreas Vesalius’ 16th century anatomy book De Corporis Fabrica, while Ian Cone’s Martyr to Science is an homage to the scientist Giordano Bruno who was burned at the stake as a heretic in 1600 and Corkey Sinks’ Reformed Sacred Geometry (Solar Heresies edition) (2014) examines science and mathematics as historically privileged knowledges amongst particular communities, cults, and sects. Laura Bell’s work is influenced by biological processes and her installation for Solar Heresies, installed along the windows, forms a membrane that contains the show, while Morgan Alexander’s Where have they gone? Where are we going? (2014) concerns the problem and phenomenon of bee colony collapse. Nikita Gale’s video Disco Clouds (2013) is an exercise in observation and Stephanie Dowda’s photographs involve an experimental and idiosyncratic interrelation between the photographer (Dowda), the camera, and the subject being photographed (generally a landscape). Michael E. Stasny’s A Practice: Danny Bailey Reminds Everyone of What It Might Feel Like to Own the Solar System (2014) is reminiscent of prototyping and modeling, a quasi-sci-fi theater of how life is ordered.
The performance by myself with the band Outer Gods was by far the most metaphorical though extremely indebted to technology and the history of electronic music. The evening-length piece, Movement for a Dying Sun, comprised four musicians playing both synthesizers and modular synthesizers arranged around the space, two musicians in the center using no input mixers with effects, and me, the dancer, who traveled around the space among the musicians and the artworks.”
The show ran at the Mammal Gallery from December 13 to December 28, 2014.