Yesterday I spent about an hour sitting on the floor at the Art Gallery of NSW taking in Ms&Mr’s stunning, melancholy XEROX MISSIVE 1977/2011. I can’t remember ever being so moved by a video installation.
“Blending reality and fiction, this mesmerising video installation fabricates an implausible and uncanny exchange between the late, infamous science fiction author Phillip K Dick and his fifth ex-wife Tessa. The work by collaborative duo Ms&Mr uses fragments of sound and footage appropriated from a speech Dick made in 1977 and a subsequent interview, which have been manipulated and combined with extracts from a recent interview with Tessa conducted by the artists at her home in California.”
Such a subtle and careful work was particularly refreshing after slogging my way through the John Kaldor Family Collection where the only bright spots where Francis Alys’ wonderful Railings, Nam June Paik’s TV Buddha and Bill Viola’s Bodies of Light. Otherwise, too many big names that seemed to shout their presence and ego: Christo, Koons, Gilbert & George and LeWitt.
Imagined Pixelation Syndrome: believing that your face is fragmenting into tiny squares, and that people can no longer recognise you.
- MICRO SPORES, Jeff Noon
January 26, 2012
predicting the present
Science fiction survives on its metaphors, catching an echo from the human context then rifling current science for an image or chain of images to act as a correlative. The rationales behind this project (including the rationale that it’s all rational, the claim that the project has, or should have, more in common with scientific discourse than poetic or political discourse) are less important to the general reader than the excitement of the found image. Science fiction is not read as a form of peer-reviewed publication.
“He was a hard shrewd jovial politician, whose acts of kindness served his interests and whose interest was himself. His type is panhuman. I had met him on Earth, and on Hain, and on Ollul. I expect to meet him in Hell.”
- The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula LeGuin
June 19, 2011
April 11, 2011
“First – and I know I’ve said it before- science fiction really isn’t in the prediction business. What it really does is hold up a distorting mirror to the time in which it is written, and takes current directions and preoccupations and speculates wildly about them. It doesn’t predict the future, but a rich variety of possible futures. Sometimes it gets it right. More often it gets it wrong, as in the example at the top of this post – Kelly Freas’s terrific painting of a space pirate swarming aboard a rocketship with a slide rule between his teeth.”
- Paul McAuley, Earth and other unlikely worlds