Exhibition by Ignas Krunglevičius at Kunsthall Oslo

ignas krungleviciusIgnas Krunglevičius
Soft Screen Alien, a sculptural installation
Cognitive EMP Blast, a performance work
Kunsthall Oslo February/March 2017
 
Soft Screen Alien imagines future aesthetics for technologically augmented post-human perception. It is conceived as an active installation work, a dynamic composition using sculpture, architecture, audible sound and visible light. But Soft Screen Alien will also operate in an extended region of the spectrum, from infrasound to ultrasonics, from radio frequency electromagnetic waves to ultraviolet light: a radical update and expansion of Robert Barry’s seminal 90 Mc/s Carrier Wave (1968, now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York). Cognitive EMP Blast is a new composition performed within the installation using its elements as instruments, a full-spectrum sensory assault designed to induce what the artist calls a “cognitive reset”.
 
Krunglevičius says: “This exhibition is not for us. This exhibition is for them, the neo-humans. It is not a banner of revolt or a new cave painting for the wired Gods, but more like a fast-lane communication device. Where feelings, these vestigial biochemical reactions, are the only language that we still share.”
 
Among many other works and exhibitions produced over the past half-decade, Krunglevicius recently participated in the 19th Sydney Biennial, the Havana Biennial 2015 and the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennial; he is a recipient of the Nam June Paik Award and the Sparebankstiftelsen DNB art prize. Soft Screen Alien/Cognitive EMP Blast will be his most ambitious work to date. Krunglevičius’s work has been described as “fantastic” (Art in America), “excellent” (Artforum), “visceral” (Artforum), and “extremely powerful” (CtrlAltDel).
 
Leading historians argue that the world’s corporate elites of the early 21st century have been evolving in the direction of jettisoning consciousness, in favor of “fast thought” or efficient, algorithm – based behavior. Today, in the year of 2067, we can draw conclusions that the price we have to pay for such achievements is the loss of non-utilitarian aspects like art and other forms of culture that make us distinctively human.
 
Through out the last 40 years, this planet has been introduced to a whole range of posthuman “cognitive subspecies.” These are people who are still recognizably human, but whose brains and bodies have been augmented by means of surgical implants, genetic and chemical tweaks, overclocked metabolisms, and optimized neural architecture. They have the ability to see and hear far more than a baseline human can, while their cognitive capabilities are beyond comprehension. It is not just that we cannot follow their logic-we cannot even imagine what it is like to be one of them.
 
This exhibition is for them, the neo-humans. It is not a banner of revolt or a new cave painting for the wired Gods, but more like a fast-lane communication device in a form of a sculpture. Where feelings, these biochemical reactions, are the only language that we still share.
Echo Gone Wrong
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February 7, 2017
Published in Baltics Outside Baltics
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