Curated by Timur Si-Qin
December 11, 2015 – January 23, 2016
Before they could be used for flight, feathers first appeared on dinosaurs for other, terrestrial purposes such as heat regulation, camouflage or signaling.
Blindly, and through the ecstasy of geological timespans, their use was transformed and mortal animals were again granted the power of flight in a new way.
In biology the evolution of the feather is an example of an exaptive trait, namely a trait that evolves for use in solving one adaptive problem,
but then is at some point retooled or co-opted to serve another. Recent computational models of E.Coli suggest most traits start off as exaptations.
The exaptive trait stands in opposition to the idea that biology or the world is pre-determined. Instead it is wholly contingent. If the forms and functions of
heredity can be so fundamentally repurposed and our material, animal bodies transmogrified to fly over mountains and swim beneath oceans, it is because
matter is itself inherently open, lacking in essential character or permanent identity.
A deep modularity of/and in service to a matter determined to experience all variations of itself.
Whatever functions a structure has today is no clear indication of its function or meaning in the future. At each moment of time, we are new.
Dependently originated, the universe in a unique configuration; empty of essence yet pregnant with unimagined forms and unpredictable capacities.
The artworks and objects in this exhibition speak to this ability of the world to transform to its core.
Tunisia Protest Jan, 2011
Hong Kong Protest, 2015
Mecca Hajj, Sep 2014
“Boids” investigate the emergent behavior of populations. The Nematodelike sculptures depict large religious or socio-politically motivated crowds.
The emergent transformations of populations can also be simulated by artificial life programs such as the work’s namesake “Boids”, a flocking behavior algorithm.