La Fable d’OxA 21965
By Anna Eyler and Nicolas Lapointe
06 November 2020 – 04 January 2021
Since the Industrial Revolution, our relationship with the earth has become increasingly mediated by technologies of visualisation, sonification, classification, mapping, and simulation. At the same time, it is the minerals and materials of the earth that have facilitated these technological developments. The earth may therefore be understood as a communicative object itself, providing the minerals essential for contemporary digital technologies. But is this all that the earth says? Are there other stories buried beneath the surface?
La Fable d’OxA 21965 considers material culture within the context of geological (or deep) time. Evoking at once an architectural frieze and an archaeological timeline, this looping video work surveys a computer-generated virtual landscape composed of 3D scanned artifacts and architecture from the Girona province. The video stitches together 3D models of the sites like the Coves Prehistòriques de Serinyà to the archway of the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Girona into a palimpsest of human-geological relations. At the same time, the environment is populated with some of the less romantic signifiers of our geological legacy: trash, fossilized water bottles, cell phones, and selfie sticks pepper the landscape.
La Fable d’OxA 21965 imagines future fossils of the digital age, and places them on equal footing with the architectural wonders of civilizations past. It asks the following questions: How can we disrupt techno-utopian narratives? How can we gain (and indeed, convey) a sense of deep time? And as media artists, how do we reconcile our use of technology with contemporary ecological challenges?
Anna Eyler: As life moves more and more into virtual spaces, I am interested in the ways that digital technology influences our relationship to the natural world. Through a combination of sculpture and new media, I explore emerging forms of technological nature; that is, how technology mediates, augments, or simulates depictions of the natural world. I look to the materiality of the screen—as both portal and container—in an effort to probe this changing relationship. I focus on the porous boundary between virtual and actual space, looking to materialize the digital and dematerialize the physical. Drawing on the visual vocabularies of science fiction, nature documentaries, and online virtual worlds, my work speaks to the new ways that we experience nature in a contemporary context, examining the gains and losses therein.
Nicolas Lapointe: Through kinetic sculpture and video, my work probes the relationship between digital technology and the mystical-occult. I am interested in looking beyond the utilitarian dimensions of technology to instead acknowledge its role as a complex cultural apparatus that profoundly influences our ways of knowing and being in the world. Moving at almost imperceptible speeds, my works operate through a process of slow reveal in an effort to trouble the immediacy and efficiency expected of technology. I construct apparatuses to perform quotidian rituals and acts of nature. In a playful reversal of expectations, technology functions not to make simple actions more efficient or economical, but rather, more elusive and enigmatic. By conflating the artificial and the natural, I explore the complex relationship between nature, technology, and spirituality.