Project Index

Negentropic Fields

December 4th, 2020 - February 5th, 2021
The National Gallery of Singapore

Tropical Futures Institute participated as a guest curator alongside artist duo, Morakana, comprising of Tiri Kananuruk & Sebastián Morales in response to INTER–MISSION and formAxioms curatorial brief.

Negentropic Fields

INFO is a process-based online digital platform for the curation and collective manipulation of digital blocks-components-artefacts-objects. INFO is a prototype that tests archival possibilities in the context of emerging digital modes of artistic expressions and forms of being. The current paradigm shift exposes the necessity to imagine new emancipatory practices for non-physical forms of creation, mediation, and exposure; for the navigation and manipulation of abstract materials.

Within the platform, Negentropic Fields was developed as the pilot project that focuses on the work of five selected artists with responses and engagements from five international artist and curatorial teams. The project utilises the platform’s collaborative spaces;, at the same time it expands at the National Gallery Singapore, where the five selected art-concepts are reconstructed and presented as explorable virtual environments.

At the physical location at the Gallery*, various media from the selection of artists and international responders are displayed through projections and through a multi-level digital environment that is, explorable for the audience via an avatar controlled via motion-capture. The interactive virtual space is the apex of the experiment that tests modes of “translations”: the moulding of the artists’ ideas and their casting into digital topologies, operations that require permutations between effects and concepts, instantiations that do not celebrate either the phenomenon or the formalism behind it, but attempts to graft in a non-trivial manner the latter and the former into each other.

Andreas Schlegel
Bani Haykal
Debbie Ding
Ong Kian Peng
Zai Tang

altermodernists (HK) [Curator: Elaine Wong + Artist: Jeff Leung]
Interdisciplinary Art Festival Tokyo (JP) [Curator: Sung Nam Han + Artist: Shuhei Nishiyama]
tamtamART (TW) [Curators: Wen-Chi Wang, Wei-Ming Ho & Yun-Ting Hung + Artists: Tsan-Cheng Wu, Chih-Ming Fan, Lien-Cheng Wang, Hsien-Yu Cheng, Ya-Wen Fu, Chao-Hao Liao, Chih-Hung Chen, David Rodríguez Gimeno & Nao Nishihara]
Urban Art Lab in Seoul (KR) [Curator: Seungah Lee + Artist: Anna Kim]
Tropical Futures Institute (PH) [Curator: Chris Fussner + Artists: MORAKANA, Tiri Kananuruk & Sebastián Morales]

Co-curated by INTER–MISSION and formAxioms.

Primal Synths

Thoughts on Morakana’s “Live from the Micro World” in the show Negentropic Fields.

Live from the Microworld an interspecies and networked performance by Morakana, an artist duo based in Brooklyn, New York, composed of Tiri Kananuruk and Sebastian Morales.

    This performance reveals the connections between species, technology, and the planet. Highlighting both the scalar connections between different system components in the performance and describing the network connections between the actors of the performance itself. (Microbes, humans, microscope, video feed, computer, image recognition, synthesizers, microphones, music programs, streaming programs, internet, fiber, last mile, 4G/LTE)

The stack of technologies involved in generating this performance can be unpacked in many different ways; however, the current time signals towards the relationship between this performance and the current global pandemic.

The negotiation of those spaces exists in both the motion tracking of the microbes and our hands' sanitizing. The music generated by Morakana and the microbes paints a stark and futuristic contrast against the backdrop of the existential global biosecurity risk that is no longer existential; 2020 is the movie Contagion. We live in a world of bubbles now; vaccinations and immune systems determine how freely we move. People from the red zone live differently from people in the green zones as mental fatigue from the constant decision making and subconscious risk calculations wear us down day by day. While we are all heading towards some sort of chickenized work routine in our own homes.

The subspecies' 2019-nCoV' disrupted our current simulation of the world, the plantation, call center, central business district, server farm, animal farm, and farm farm. Glitching the velocity of our current acceleration of the world at hand, speeding up some instances and bringing others to a halt. The chaos over the last few months raises the question of "what exists in the jungle beyond the plantation?"

    The microbes that came from different water sources in New York in 'Live from the Microworld' are filmed under the microscope. The recording of the microbes is fed into a computer. The microbes' movements are rendered, tracked, and connected to a voice modulator and synthesizer controlled by Morakana. The video and sound are fed back into the stream that gets shot out over fiber internet through data streams and onto our own screens. The systems that compromise the performance take us through different scales of the environment upon which species also interact on each level. Environmental, microbial, human, local, regional, national, planetary, and extra-planetary.

    'Live from the Microworld', Morakana and the microbes invite us to look beyond the plantation and into the jungle. (unpack this sentence) From the structured monoculture of late capitalism and into a complex, chaotic ecosystem that holds equilibrium. Breaking our vision free of the preferential scale, it always chooses to see ourselves as islands when we are not isolated. The objects, species, and environments we interact with always places us within a systemic chain. As we are no longer just humans but (human + smartphone + ________). An ever-increasing myriad of connections that lead us back to earth. The answers of the future are already among us; we just can’t see them yet.