Exhibition title: LYCAN
Curated by: Michal Novotny
Venue: Futura, Prague, The Czech Republic
Date: March 5 – April 28, 2019
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Futura
A fabric presents in principle a certain number of characteristics that permit us to define it as a striated space. First, it is constituted by two kinds of parallel elements; in the simplest case, there are vertical and horizontal elements, and the two intertwine, intersect perpen- dicularly. Second, the two kinds of elements have different functions; one is fixed, the other mobile, passing above and beneath the fixed. (…) Third, a striated space of this kind is necessarily delimited, closed on at least one side: the fabric can be infinite in length but not in width, which is determined by the frame of the warp.(…)
Felt is a supple solid product that proceeds altogether differently, as an anti-fabric. It implies no separation of threads, no intertwining, only an entanglement of fibers obtained by fulling (for example, by rolling the block of fibers back and forth). What becomes entangled are the microscales of the fibers. An aggregate of intrication of this kind is in no way homogeneous: it is nevertheless smooth, and contrasts point by point with the space of fabric (it is in principle infinite, open, and unlimited in every direction; it has neither top nor bottom nor center; it does not assign fixed and mobile elements but rather distributes a continuous variation). (…) Although it might entail displacing the oppo- sition, do we not detect two very different conceptions or even practices of weaving, the distinction between which would be something like the dis- tinction between fabric as a whole and felt? For among sedentaries, clothes-fabric and tapestry-fabric tend to annex the body and exterior space, respectively, to the immobile house: fabric integrates the body and the outside into a closed space. On the other hand, the weaving of the nomad indexes clothing and the house itself to the space of the outside, to the open smooth space in which the body moves.
Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari: A Thousand Plateaus – The Smooth and The Striated
The title of core.pan exhibition references to lycanthropy, the self transformation into werewolf. Important is here not only the wolf, as a symbol of natural, wild, strongly sensual and vital forces, but also all the fancifulness of this idea, that however accompany mankind for centuries. Therefore it is probably also a symbolical symptom of the enforced, imposed division of nature and culture. Although the werewolf shapeshifting is not permanent and apparently it is possible to control it, in the later phases to a large extent, what happens here is immediate essential transformation of a given structure, that cannot be foreseen or explained from the previous structural ordering. This sudden transition is similar to the “god from the machine”, the way of resolving the apparently unresolvable plot in the antic theatre, when a god, or rather a sculpture of god, was pulleyed on the stage to dramatically reverse the play’s conclusion.
As the name itself suggests, god from the machine is present in the works of core.pan literally. core.pan connects the core of the computer processor, the part that executes the necessary calculations, with panpsychism, the idea of certain consciousness, mind or soul as a universal feature of all things, alive or not. Hence it is Lycan, that overcomes with the power of its mind and will the nature-culture division becoming a being that is simultaneously a creature and a hero. It would be a mistake to read the works of core.pan as a simple techno-optimism, belief, that the coming ecological catastrophe will be deflected by the development of science and technology. That would a gradual change, the idea of progress. core.pan are nonetheless also choosing a shape-shifting Lycan rather than a cyborg for their exhibition. Their point is therefore rather to re-acknowledge the spiritual dimension to technology, a step that could lead to this sudden quantitative transition, unexpected and incalculable, such as the appearance of consciousness, a change that is speculative. And the more for the fancifulness of this idea. Because we cannot speak here about a retreat to irrationality, but rather about the fact, that not only in technology development, the imagination of possibilities directly influence, what actually is possible.
Not without a cause we therefore encounter throughout the exhibition some sort of portals. However they be to virtual or imaginary worlds, it seems, those dispose of certain ecologies per se, certain vital processes insides of them. All works of core.pan are the results or clashes of physical or auratic material attributes, accidentality and the will of the authors that results into some sort of self-establishing arrangements, whether it be not entirely controlled computer animation, hand grinding into stone or the logic of internet memes.