The exhibitions, lectures, and sound performances that comprise this year’s edition of The Natural & The Manufactured, were concieved as a multi-disciplinary collection of units that, together, bring the socio-political import of our yearly thematic project into the realm of the intimate, personal, and imaginary.
Unified by a underlying principal of familiarization–post-consumer detritus, typical Home Depot renovation products, rocks, musical instruments–all the projects in the N&M 2010 nonetheless work to fundamentally destable our predictable responses and notions of the ordinary. Instead, these projects revel in the particularities of betweenness, finding aesthetic value and critical awareness in the unstable realm between what we expect and what we see.
In particular, the 2010 projects share a sense of temporal anachronism or spatial translocality, a sense of existing in a future-past rife with objects and concepts brougt to us from a foreign culture that exists in two places at once, only resembling ours as some sort of two-way mirrored reflection. Indeed, there is a distinct sense of SciFi speculation in these projects–a context at once fantastic and dystopian, where the artificial acts naturally and the the resolutely natural takes on a sheen of Futurism’s fabrication: silicone chip gardens, respiring mounds of moss and garbage, stones with consciousness (or at least ethics), and worlds within worlds where the microcosmic and macrocosmic, organic and inorganic, share not onlyfundamental patterns and elements, but also a distinct communicative or telekinetic ability.
The Natural & The Manufactured 2011 is a case study in the social imaginary of our thematic dichotemy, our latent thoughts and associative connections to the environment that exist outside of- or in tandem with- the more literal, rhetorical or even socially-pressing definitions of “natural” and “manufactured” in our current context of environmental collapse and the resulting crisis of economic globalism. These projects render two of the largest abstractions of our human history into a dream-space that is at once perceptually tangible and subjectively open–an evocative and poetic meditation on our symbiotic engagement with the landscape.
LANCE BLOMGREN is the Director of the ODD Gallery and KIAC’s Artist in Residence Program in Dawson City, Yukon. His upcoming curatorial project,Still Films, a tribute to serial and sequential trends in photography, will open at the Yukon Art Centre in Whitehorse in Spring 2011.