Exhibition Proposal “Animated US”
From time to time, we hear about devastating hurricanes that originate somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and attack the coastline. A hurricane as a weather phenomenon is formed when masses of air with different temperatures come into contact and their internal energy is converted into movement. Under certain conditions, the process starts to self-amplify because the air moving in a vortex pattern absorbs more and more energy-rich air. The closer to the center of the vortex, the denser this transformative energy becomes and the wilder is the swirling of the air, leaving nothing in place or intact! Researchers have ranked the most important leaps in human development and compared the intervals of time between each one. It took 100,000 years to go from the development of the human species to the development of speech, the introduction of tools took another 25,000, the ability to grow plants came another 7,000 years later, states were formed another 3,000 years after that, religious teachings came in another 1,500 years, and the spread of knowledge known as the Enlightenment came 400 years after that. It took another 180 years for industrial society to form and only 70 more years until the beginning of the information age. The rhythm becomes clearly visible – previous events create favorable conditions for the next ones and every new revolutionary change usually comes about three times faster than the previous one. To continue in this pattern, our next leap should come about 15 years after the beginning of the information age and the one following that only 10 years later. At some point, the changes will start happening within days and hours! We have reached the middle of the vortex where the increasingly fast development must inevitably come to an end.
“Animated US” will be an exhibit that deals with the increasingly fast pace of our modern life (growing out capitalism, neocolonialism and heteropatriarchy) and seriously questions its sustainability. The exhibition is built using multimedia (film + photo + sound), with its central piece being an installation on the movement of people on the Manhattan Bridge (on 16 mm film) where the speed of the movement is manipulated in the same pattern as the cycles of human development. The use of 16mm film is an homage to the avant-garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas (1922-2019), who used this medium throughout his work documenting life in New York. The reflection on the Manhattan Bridge as part of the exhibition would fit well in the Apexart Gallery, which would expand the conceptual space of the exhibit to include all of Manhattan and its bridges.
Manhattan is the heart of the world and the circulation of its people are its blood stream, but can the movement of people be accelerated infinitely?