LACE is proud to present “Speculative“, a group exhibition curated by Christopher O’Leary and Zach Blas.
“Speculative” will focus on new modes of art making and of presentation with an emphasis on the experiential, subversive, and tactical potentials for art in the 21st century. The projects included in this exhibition engage wildly diverse mediums from critical software, art-science, social practices, experimental video, wearable architecture, performance works and much more.
Featuring work by Casey Alt, Zach Blas, Jeff Cain, Micha Cardenas & Elle Mehrmand, Xarene Eskandar, Michael Kontopoulos, Christopher O’Leary, Claudia Salamanca, and Pinar Yoldas, the exhibition takes a multiplicity of forms and makes use of a variety of technologies including digital video projection, sound devices, specific lighting and other digital media to address notions of design, science, business, sex, gender, death, politics, environmentalism and, most of all — the future.
Christopher O’Leary speculates about an increasingly dystopic vision of our future, as expressed through popular film, comics and literature. His work, Blocking the Exits, is a dynamically-edited, single-channel video project comprised entirely of still photographs that have been animated through morphing algorithms. Jeff Cain uses historical, botanical, and geographical research on the invasive mustard plant spread throughout California by Franciscan Monks to mark the El Camino Real to propose a 600 mile native biome restoration of the historic royal road.
His installation will use documentation of original research and visualization of an imagined intervention to reveal both an optimistic and fatalistic representation of colonialism and the difficulties of undoing history. Xarene Eskandar investigates the idea of ‘the fold’ in origami-based clothing designs that relate the body to an unspoiled landscape. The forms themselves will be installed in conjunction with media documentation depicting their use.
Today, we see the world we live in as an inviable world, and yet a world poised for radical reconfiguration.
From global economic crises to pandemic panics to burgeoning forms of hatred and control to the ravaging of our earth, new borders and quarantines haunt and terrorize the world at stochastic levels of the global, nation-state, informatics, and the biological. Indeed, our world presents to us the seemingly complete commodification of life, culture, the body, earth. Yet, we find within these very inviabilities the kernels of potential to enact and push forward new ways, worlds, and lives.
In fact, we see many up-risings emerging everywhere: from the calls to action of militant groups like The Invisible Committee to the UC student protests to the insurrections of the Middle East to the digital activisims of WikiLeaks and Anonymous. These all point toward living and existing in the world another way.
We see the SPECULATIVE as the uniting force in our artwork that conjures forth the potential of the world we want, in political, cultural, social, sexual, technological, biological, economic, and ecological dimensions.
The SPECULATIVE is that imaginative, aesthetic work done by the artist to create new possibilities, inspire change, gesture toward a livable future, and generate new tactics and methodologies.
The SPECULATIVE asks us to use our imagination politically.
The SPECULATIVE allows us to subvert reality; practice new types of activism; work with the impossible as a political framework; rediscover the magic of our materials; question what a body and collective is capable of; locate new sexualities and perversities; reconfigure capitalism, design, and branding; create new worlds, peoples, species, and ecologies; find embodiments and other productive actions that emerge from war, apocalypses, disasters, and death; and build our dream utopias.
Exhibition and Event Description
As an exhibition The SPECULATIVE will focus on new modes of art making and new modes of presentation with a emphasis on the experiential, subversive, and tactical potentials for art in the 21st century. The projects included in this exhibition engage wildly diverse mediums from critical software, art-science, social practices, experimental video, wearable architecture, performance works and much more. The practices represented here deal with speculative notions of design, science, business, sex, gender, death, politics, environmentalism and most of all the future.