Chronus Art Center is pleased to present My Lagerstätte, an exhibition by Michael Joaquin Grey. My Lagerstätte is composed of three intimately related cinematic works that resonate together to create a stunning audiovisual epic of a voyage to the heart of the solar system for a post-mortem conservation of cultural relics immortalized in media objects and technical inventions of the past several hundred years. These objects characterize the immense creativity, as well as the inherent obsole scence and transience, of the technologically empowered material culture of the modern world. The works unfold the mythology-inspired pedagogical continuum of observing (pre-museum), collecting (museum) and preserving (post-museum), a triad that the artist has developed as a witness and for the longevity of civilization beyond the limits of history and the finitude of the human species, toward a futurity that extends into cosmic time.
The large wall projection “The Sanctuary Orrery” is an eschatological work, a personal and collective model of the solar system that has continued to evolve from Grey’s original cosmological visualization engine “So What Moon Calendar” from 2005. A generative 3D environment, “The Sanctuary Orrery” is a computational cinema in which the sound is generated from the artist’s spatial libretto to create the sun, moon, earth and the rest of the solar system. The animation was inspired by the approaching end of the Mayan calendar cycle and is a journey to the end or the beginning of a new phase of civilization, traveling to the center of the sun and then back through the planets to the edge of the asteroid belt. These planets and celestial bodies are animated by the sounds, songs and speeches of a collective past. Audio relics from the late-twentieth century guide us through the galaxy and into a realm of social and historical consciousness.
On the other side of the virtual solar system journey, presented here on two 65 inches HD displays, revolves the “Umwelt Belt.” “Umwelt Belt” (German: environment) is the first post-museum collection launched in the “The Sanctuary Orrery” located just beyond the planet Mars. The live installation features a collection of objects that orbit in a mobius strip pattern; a history stream from our cultural record.
“Umwelt Belt” develops a sanctuary, a new space to observe and contemplate the development and collective mythology of media from the birth of the printing press to the present. By re-situating the “media object” into a 3D virtual extraterrestrial environment, a new critical distance and medium for re-reading our history and material culture may be generated.
Over 100 objects from the history of media make up this orbiting constellation including the Gutenberg press, a microscope, telescope, camera, microphone, light bulb, Ford Model T car, radio, television, atomic bomb, Sputnik satellite, Wright plane, military drone, Hubble telescope, electron microscope, iPhone, Xerox 914 copier, transistor, lunar module, Mars rover, Apple Power Book, computer, floppy disk, flash drive, and an electric guitar. This collection of objects captures the culture’s consciousness in a post-museum cosmos.
“Primordial Soup: The Second Accumulation” is a live computational work. It is a lagerstatte of perpetual media content layered over time to create a percolating tar field constantly churning and accumulating. It is with this conceptual purity and formal laconism that we venture into the numerous permutations of its emergence.
“Spatial Libretto for the Solar System,” 2012, is a graphic representation of the sounds that generate the objects of the artist’s virtual model of the solar system, the “Sanctuary Orrery.” The music and texts within this computational cinema work create the sun, planets and objects of a subjective media culture cosmology.
About the exhibition
Dates: Apr 1, 2015 – May 2, 2015
Opening: Apr 1, 2015, 18:00, Wednesday
Venue: Chronus Art Center
Courtesy of the artist and Chronus Art Center, for further information please visit www.chronusartcenter.org.