Machine (2017)


The installation is a response to three core ideas: technology as posited by Ursula K. LeGuin as a social response to physical reality, historic weaving devices, and optic tools for perceptual confusion, blurring the borders between what we see, what we perceive, and what we know.


I
I first read Ursula K. Le Guin’s “A Rant About ‘Technology’” about a year ago. It’s a short text wherein Le Guin responds to charges of avoiding technology in her writing, she’s been accused of writing “soft science fiction.” But Le Guin rails against this, defining technology not as “wires and servers,” but as how society responds to physical reality. By framing the term in this way, technology becomes a fluid concept built to accommodate vast dimensionality. There is also something terribly beautiful in the notion that the spectrum of technology holds both a piece of cloth and the internet.

II
I found this loom in Łysa Góra. It was a precarious yet elegant little construction of wood, yarn, and stones that sat on the porch of a small home in a synthetic medieval village. It was a seductive composition of both horizontal and vertical, hard and soft lines. I stared at it for a long time, I took a lot of pictures. Aside from the aesthetic qualities of its form, what really stayed with me was the notion that this is a machine.

III
I can’t remember the moment I discovered dazzle paint– the camouflage developed for naval vessels circa WWI not to hide from, but to confuse the observer. Information comes at us through our eyes and then off to our brains where things like scale, directionality, materiality, identity, and mood are mapped out. Dazzle paint is a pattern, a motif, developed to distort visual perception, to baffle orientation. But maybe what it really does is highlight the distance between what we see, what we perceive, and what we know.


Machine is a return to the basics, it’s kind of like a beginning. In the space occupied by a duality, between borders of red and blue, the digital and the analog, the organic and the inorganic, there is blur. Blur between the lines of words like technology, machine, perception, form, color, function, network, time, space, horizon, distortion. One, two, three. Light, space, time. Beginning, middle, end. Past, present, future. Red, yellow, blue.
     
Machine, Stroboskop Art Space, Warsaw, PL