UP SIDE DOWN
Music by Miguel Chafirovitch,
Voice Over by Philip Markle and Billy Stewart,
Text I by Eight Fang and Philip Markle,
Text II exerpt from <On Fiction> Vilém Flusser.
Vilém Flusser Archive
and Vorspiel Transmediale und CTM, Berlin
Exhibition “Deep Sea Creations”
Imagine the circumstances of the deep sea, several thousand feet beneath the surface. The only sources of light are bioluminescent creatures, and the level of oxygen is extremely low. As far as we humans know, only a few species can survive there. One of them is the vampire squid that also inspired the cultural theorist and philosopher Vilém Flusser (1920–1991). Flusser’s book “Vampyro- teuthis Infernalis” is a philosophical fiction that brings us into the everyday life of this animal – as the ultimate “other” from a human perspective – and analyses different phenomenological events of human life.
Based on Flusser’s ideas and organized by Anita Jóri, Alberto de Campo, and Hannes Hoelzl, the students of Studium Generale and Computational/Generative Art reflected on deep sea-related philosophical questions such as immersion, animality, otherness, distancing, and ocean plastics pollution.
The Society for Nontrivial Pursuits (students, teachers, alumni, and friends of the Computational Art class) presented a group work, an ensemble of hypothetical deep-sea creatures. They constitute a network of very divergent specimens (artificial individualism) which nonetheless have ways of deciding about behaviors they want to share via coded collectivity.
The exhibition took place at Berlin University of the Arts in January 2019 as an official event of the Vorspiel Program of Transmediale and Club Transmediale (CTM) Festival and is currently receiving numerous invitations from festivals and galleries.
Eight Fang’s artwork Up Side Down is a mixture of video, sculpture, and audio. Her work, as it does frequently, addresses both elements of civilization and of nature. In this work, she mixes online video clips and digital animation to create a supernatural world, where everything moves around in an extreme manner, somewhere in between veritable events and hypothetical images. In this exhibition, in between video and sculpture, she develops
a contradictory discourse about the matter and virtual reality, wherein the diverse actions of moving images are displayed on different media.
“I ask myself if I can truly become a deep-sea animal, and look through the blue water, to tell human beings a story about themselves. I think
I could, and so I did in this work, but the story reminded them of their per- sonification. But human beings stay in their perfect world. The absurdity of human assumptions becomes clear in their everyday life of their urbanized society. Mankind has conquered the world and is on the top of the biological chain. Yet humans have understood neither the animals nor nature itself and even forgot about it.”, she mumbled to herself.
Excerpted from the booklet of the Deep Sea Creations exhibition.
Exhibition view, photo ©Anne Wellmer
UP SIDE DOWN
Video installation, 2019
2 videos: HD, loop, 4’’12, 4”12
Installations: 100 x 100 x 250 cm
Iron chain, stainless steel, plaster, stone, rope, fishnet, monitor, projector
UP SIDE DOWN I
Exhibition view, 2019
HD video, loop, 4’’12
projected on installation