[-empyre-] Tactics

Renate Terese Ferro rferro at cornell.edu
Sat Jun 24 21:12:11 AEST 2017

I had a chance to visit the Greek Pavilion at the Venice I Biennale yesterday. Entitled The Laboratory of Dilemmas by artist George Drivas, the piece reveals narrative documentation of a science laboratory experiment on stem cells on a series of ten to twelve monitors that are perched above a human sized maze.  As the story unfolds each video station naturally stages gaps in the narrative that the viewer must compete for themselves. The story of the science experiment that eventually goes awry is further truncated through a variety of glitch video editing tools that further create missing parts that the viewer must piece together.  Like the installation maze below where biennale visitors move through in darkness the turns and twists are not evident but only revealed as the viewer decides to go right or left or straight ahead.

 The artist’s intention was in carving a space to consider the social dilemmas surrounding the scientific experiment, Kevin as you point out in regard’s to Byron and Mary’s work.  Many artists considering the space between science, technology and art create an experience where the manner in which information is formulated, documented, and presented weighs in on the conceptual underpinnings of the overall piece.

<snip> Byron wrote I guess all this rambling leads me to this: I think the power in the tactical/subversive use of the technologies of marginalization is of greatest importance. The aesthetics draw in interest, and scholarship and dissemination with re-imagined language redraws the borders of power. <snip>

Byron you are among many artists who also are engage in physical tactics and innovative research that also stage the conceptual, political and social “dilemmas” that are at hand. I have been thinking hard about the complicated combination of the artistic ego, the curatorial hand, and the urgency of cultural politics and mobilization. The Greek pavilion was one anomoly in this biennial where social or political considerations have been diffused by a return to beauty, spirituality, and Zen.I prefer physical tactics any day of the week.

Onward now to the exhibitions and installations that are situated off the main sites.  I am hopeful that these are a bit more engaged in the real world around us. 
Murat Byron is en route these past few days so he may not have received your questions. 
 Thanks Kevin for hanging in there! 


Renate Ferro
Visiting Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Art
Tjaden Hall 306
rferro at cornell.edu

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