A Pattern Withdrawn, American Medium, Brooklyn (guest curated by Rebecca Friedman)
A pattern is at once a spatial configuration, a recurrence, and an emergent relationship among component parts. As a cognitive event, pattern recognition taps into the virtual, a causative realm in which sequence and form arise out of uncertainty and chaos. The understanding of virtuality as a generative wellspring is ancient, and “far from being tied to digitality, its lineage long antedates its current technological matrix.”1 This is how Fernand Deligny, a filmmaker and forerunner of the anti-psychiatry movement, describes wander lines (lignes d’erre) in his study of drawings by neurodivergent children. The drawings can be understood as subjective cartographies which express latent energy through the accumulation of hand drawn marks and linear traces. Wanderlining, then, refers to a mediation at the point where virtualization and actualization interchange.2 This process tracks a latent pattern and translates it into a formal output. The result is an artifact, or an index, of virtual phenomena that are otherwise withdrawn. All of the variety of the social and physical worlds is built out of rhythms and spatial arrangements arising from such withdrawn patterns. Traditional Chinese philosophy traces these structures through qi, a term used to describe the essential energy of all things, from wind and static, to food, individuals and nations. The study of how qi affects us in our environment is known as feng shui—a practice unrelated to formal design strategies, and yet deeply involved with composition, which is “less a critical thought project than an integrally experienced emergence.”3 Embeddedness in an energetic field, as well as a sensitivity to that field, produce coherence as composition. In other words, what we sense as compositions are resonances between an external non-determinacy and our own patterning, which is itself revealed and cohered in the exchange. As such, lived experience is a constant negotiation across our own subjective patterns, the patterns we come into contact with, and the patterns within which we are already embedded. With this understanding, it becomes ever more critical to foreground the labor of reproducing oneself within and against normalizing social and political patterning, in order to sustain a subjective ecology of worlds, forms of life, points of view, rhythms and gestures.4
1 Rotman, Brian. Ghost Effects. Address presented at Stanford Humanities Institute, November 2004. 2 Pelbart, Peter Pál. Cartography of Exhaustion: Nihilism Inside Out. Univocal Publishing, 2015. 3 Massumi, Brian. Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. Duke University Press, 2002. 4 Pelbart, Peter Pál. Cartography of Exhaustion: Nihilism Inside Out. Univocal Publishing, 2015
he was there when I first smelled the smell and now he is the smell
Lauren Gault and Zoe Claire Miller, Rinomina
Working in sculptural installation, and specifically linking together their use of ceramics, Lauren Gault and Zoë Claire Miller’s ‘he was there when I first smelled the smell, and now he is the smell’ connects, debates and expands both their practices. Conceived as a hybrid between a traditional two-person show and a collaborative installation, the works examine the word ‘terroir’ – a term normally used to describe qualities within a wine such a time, a place, an altitude, an environment, and the term ‘qualia’ – an attempt to define the non-chemical, intrinsic, ineffable essence or experience of objects/materials. These abstract, less tangible qualities are said to be ‘held’ or present within matter, and directly informs the artists’ interests in the capacity for an object to have its own ‘embodied knowledge’. These concepts and terms are examined in directly in relation to the artists sculptural practices for this exhibition.