SCIENCE FICTION : DOUBLE FEATURE
A night of sensational happenings at the openings of Erica Seccombe’s Monster and Benjamin Forster’s Kynic. Firstly our favourite Martian Robyn Archer who is known to moonlight as Creative Director of The Centenary of Canberra delivered a fabulous theatrical speech in costume designed by Cat Mueller. These shows to coincide with National Science Week focus on notions of scientific reality and its mutations within popular consciousness and media. Erica has been working with Tim Senden and Ajay Limaye in the Department of Applied Mathematics (Research School of Physics and Engineering) at ANU producing 3D prints and a mind boggling video. This is the very cutting edge of technology as Ajay is inventing programs (Dishti) for rendering 3D X-ray images pretty well as we speak. Monster is the result of brand new research and Erica is experimenting with its artistic applications immediately. The exhibition references 1950s b grade movies (like Attack of the Crab Monsters) with less than oblique allusions to Alien and Prometheus. The Centenary of Canberra and Department of Applied Mathematics have given generous support to this project and not only will it impact on future new media but it also harks back to the days when contemporary artists did outrageous, experimental things that challenge the ways we think about art and culture. Coming in from left of field Ben Forster attempted to produce a viable human-canine hybridoma or an immortal cell that contains both human and canine DNA, for a project that has its roots in the ancient Greek philosophy of Cynicism. There is more than a hint of the abject in Ben’s exquisite crumpled drawings presented as if blown into a street corner. Just in case the punters didn’t get the reference to the men who lived like dogs in Ancient Greece he pissed on the drawings at the opening leaving his mark (DNA) on the freshly stained paper. It was one of those nights when not many noticed his subversive act ( at the time) but there was subsequently a crescendo of dirty talk as evening became night. Ben also has an extremely amusing video collage that highlights the suspect appearances of scientific research in advertising. The gallery was jammed with high spirited revellers who seemed at times to be quite in sympathy with the Ancient Kynics although it would be stretching the truth to say that anyone particularly virtuous or communing especially effectively with nature.
Science Fiction : Monster and Kynic at CCAS Gorman House until 28 September. (more photos to come – big night !)
Science Fiction is a Centenary of Canberra project, proudly supported by the ACT Government