Hyperobject in A Quake in Beingis "things that are massively distributed in time and space relative to humans." The relativity of 'our' existence—the 'human' existence—rests upon our innate compulsion to build tools to respond to our ever-changing environments. This is the human condition1. Timothy Morton continues to describe this object-making response through the term hyperobject as "long-lasting product['s] of direct human manufactur[ing]. […] a sum of all the whirring machinery of capitalism." So how do we curate our spaces with equipment, gear, goods, and junk? Are these relics of innovation everlasting or short-lived? Do these mass-produced materials contribute to the earth’s ecology positively? Can there be ways we can reassess our relationship with these materials’adaptability?
Principles of Enclosure looks to address these questions under the theme “functional obsolescence.” Artists Gambletron, Johnny Forever and zevtiefenback specifically engage with various objects,“usefulness” or “desirability” based on their outdated design feature that is difficult to alter.In this way, you get an overall sense that the artists are critiquing capitalist consumption by incorporating their relationships to production and distribution to its impossibility of being equitably sustainable. By engaging with object-making in the industrial realm, they reveal those objects' precarity.
Objects such as:
plastic columns: a contention to the contemporary depiction from classic historical architecture. Alabaster in material and embellished by a Corinthian top are redefined by a mass-produced plastic form that becomes figurative once a latex sheet is draped on top.
antennas are dismembered from their radio bodies while their bellies are dissected and reconnected to other parts to form a new way of relevance.
noise: the voices of these objects speak through static utterances. A sort of nostalgic way of listening where one used to scan radio waves for other signs of life.
discarded wood is repurposed in a self-reflexive way to stimulate our relationship with trees and extractive pursuits with Land.
Photographic documents of property ownership become memories of bygone eras where security was somewhat obtainable yet unsustainable.
To come across these objects, equipment, gear, goods, and junk within a gallery space forces the viewer to reintroduce themselves. The artwork’s technology or representation can be nostalgic for some or maybe totally unfamiliar. A pendulum swing between relativity to irrelevance. It is arguable to say that Principles of Enclosure is time-based and ephemeral. It is also arguablethat these works assert life on their own—beyond a human focus perspective that usually projects object relevance based on sharing space. However, these objects, equipment, gear, goods, and junk continue to exist when we are gone. When ‘we’ are gone forever, these works will remain here. Some can erode. Some will not.
Michaela Bridgemohan Guest Writer
1 This is in reference to the human history of constructing objects and tools to our social spaces. However, I want to acknowledge that other animals such as crows, ravens, and other birds also make tools as to strategize hunting and foraging. .