March 4th – 31st, 2009 at SOIL
Practicing for When We Need Each Other More
The microcosmic communities envisioned in Practicing for When We Need Each Other More provide playful and fragile solutions for the complicated social and environmental state of the world. Taking cues from the collective intelligence of animals, this exhibit aims to humorously translate such experiences for human communities and individuals. This exhibit is composed of a series of videos and photographs that focus on a time when people might have to share and function collectively while exploring both the positive and negative impacts that this could have on the human spirit.
Dense multi-human structures hover in a minimal nowhere in the Formations video projections. These organized shapes reference the cooperative chaos theory of flocking birds. Solutions, a series of digitally composited photographs, shows clustered landscapes comprised of hundreds of human forms. The very bodies of members from this fictitious community are used as a resource where physical landscape fails to be available. Practicing for When we Need Each Other More documents a social experiment and acted as the primary impetus for many of the works seen in the exhibit. In this piece, volunteers met weekly for a month to practice moving synchronously and improvisationally together. The habits of collective intelligence found within the animal world were studied and employed. This video documents the final meeting of participants as they create a flock in public space. The idea that cooperation and togetherness is something that needs to be intentionally practiced is amusing and yet a potentially accurate state of our humanity.
The videos and photographs that comprise this exhibit create fictional spaces, infrastructures and formations that contemplate the idea of physically using our bodies as a tool and resource; an idea that can both humanize and dehumanize our togetherness. A new dialogue about human capabilities arises as physical limitations dissolve. These fragile communities struggle against disconnection by aiming to find a common ground through their physical experiences together.
In the Backspace: Michael Barrette presents Impossible Cities, a recent series of digital paintings that explore architectural themes in alternate universes. These works represent the latest chapter in the evolution of his ongoing written and visual narrative project Through the MultiCode Vertex begun in 2005.
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