Change in the trajectory of human history – the crisis that upsets the continuity, or the innovation that comes to be imitated – is often imagined as a single stroke of genius flashing in solitude. The two interviews highlighted this week showcase two curious and persistent innovators whose self-dictated experiments have articulated the power and necessity of the collective mind. Behind every lit bulb is an active circuit.
Bay Area roboticist Kal Spelletich marvels at the eagerness with which his audience members subject themselves to his unintuitive and often dangerous interactive automata. Convinced that present technology has fostered a passive and risk-free mode of existence in modern America, Spelletich subverts the alienating properties of machinery by transforming materials into kinetic experiences that draw attention to human faculties like eroticism, spirituality, and fear. Despite his remarkable feats of engineering, Spelletich is often absent from his exhibitions, placing higher importance on the network of like-minded contributors and viewers than his reputation as artist.
Theorist, instigator, musician, programmer, and cutting-edge media artist Ebon Fisher played a key role in cultivating the artistic locus that is present day Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Like a 21st century Joseph Beuys, Fisher seeks the articulation of his artistic ideal by steady experimentation and reexamination, operating under an interdisciplinary, ecological, and collaborative philosophy. Fisher has elevated the site-specific installation to an environmental immersion, and the disruptive happening to a spontaneous communal celebration. Most importantly, Fisher’s ideas reach their fruition through the people who listen and pass them along.
What are you reading? Cristina, one of our users, has been studying Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, as well as Édouard Glissant’s Poetics of Relation.
Itinerant residency collective R.A.R.O. in Buenos Aires oversees a web of disparate studios owned by local artists. With no maximum stay time and a fully customizable residency plan, applicants enter into an intimate and near-familial network of collaborators, curators, and patrons. Applications are received year round, and those accepted will be able to pursue a variety of mediums and contexts, interacting with veterans and novices alike along the way.
No wave is formed without its invisible current. One must only dive to see the wealth beneath the surface.