Notes on Today from Tomorrow

February 19th, 2018  |  Published in January/February 2018

Questions of creative identity and displacement loom large for the show entitled, “Notes on Today from Tomorrow” at IRL Gallery, which ran January 5th through 26th. featuring four artists of Greek identity.

In Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos’ Oracle – Typing video of long-winded text messages, relying on random predictive text and garbled logic, gives way to a hand holding a small notebook, a lined and columned one at that, as one would hold a cell phone. A rudimentary device, democratic in comparison to the far more advanced and expensive modern palm-sized device, the cell phone, which I also happened to be using to takes notes on my viewing experience. Just as current social convention has people sharing in real life experience with their phone. Esmeralda’s work discarded it’s own trope as it mocked me, the thumb of the hand flipped weightlessly up and down, up and down, up and down, on loop. No differentiation between beginning and end. A digital twiddling of thumbs. Arbitrary entries and directions on a blank slate.

In Natalie Yiaxi’s work, Daydreaming II, Alchemy, The Opposite of Time, three videos play simultaneously. In the first video, snapshots of  nature, antiquity, and everyday object flash randomly on the screen. In the second and central video, a female performs music and other movements with a three-sided instrument. In the final video we are asked to consider how time is measured and the opposite of that measurement.

In Eva Papamargariti’s video series, Desire, Someday I will Buy an Ikea Chair with Bitcoins, Soft Touch, the vital signs of a cell phone are given precedence over the human that holds it. Sentimental music plays over video of a woman in scrubs performing the phone’s factory birth. And in another, a computer rendered video of a man stands in a cascade of digital water while holding a cell phone that displays messages about love.

Theo Triantafyllidis, How to Everything, uses a gaming device to orchestrate a randomly generated video simulation. Among some of the items that interact continuously are a rock, phone, dinosaur, hand, watermelon, and a knife.

Also by Theo, is a virtual reality work, a fully immersive exercise in dislocation. The computer rendered virtual reality setting is one that further dissociates the viewer with the randomness of its interactions and rocky landscape. Little balloon looking creatures bounce randomly around a rocky enclave in Joshua Tree and attach to the viewer’s body, with no sign of Greece. As if the long established classical stereotypes that might otherwise ground things has broken loose for good.

All works are currently available for viewing within the internet landscape.

–Libby Andress

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