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The Mind Melts Before It Melds Into Earth


Uncomfortable Hope 2021 - 2022



Pavilion Statement

Uncomfortable Hope an online pavilion that explores a parallel ecological reality founded on ideas of being uncomfortable. The exhibition would aim to investigate concepts that reject human convenience, efficiency, luxury, and practicality, instead focusing on reimagining a state of potentiality, not a dystopia but a non-utopia that purges all notions of utilitarian experiential indulgence.


Exhibition Rooms

Featured Artist


Isabella Bernal Vega

About The Exhibit:
Greener than Gold is a film that documents a community’s resistance to multinational mining company AngloGold Ashanti’s La Quebradona mining project, which would extract 4.9 million tons of copper concentrate, gold, and other minerals over a span of twenty years in the Andean tropical forest of Colombia. Through conversations between farmers from the towns of Jericó and Támesis and compelling visuals, Verde como el oro warns us of the disastrous impact the megamine would have on the Andean bear—the only remaining large bear in six Latin American countries—the community, and the environment.

Natasha K. He

About The Exhibit:
Architectural Redemption
The project highlights an interpretation of transforming the old, unlikeable     and unlovable. Through the focus of well-being the space transforms. With the conservation of the historic forms and elements, what was, is preserved and renewed.

The project highlights and investigates how architecture and aesthetics can challenge the perception of notations and associations.

The work of ‘wellbeing’ project will never finish but we have opened the view: an institution transformed.

Hence architectural redemption

Paul Mok

About The Exhibit:
Is it possible to demonstrate fully a first person experience, struggles and failures in making meaning out of a set of circumstances? Is it possible to display a sculpture as what it truly is - an unfinished process of meaning-making?

To set a table is to lay the groundwork. Is it possible to set one up, in this case, for it could-be fruitless attempt at meaning-seeking?

The struggle in meaning-seeking will be answered with the original struggle in meaning-making.
Saagar Gavri

About The Exhibit:
This is the Cathode Ray Mission. A gigantic network of information signals that feeds the masses with our socially acceptable discourse.

Isabella Bhoan

About The Exhibit:

In the process of creating the pavilion, concept of the Womb was transformed and warped with the ideas of multi-dimensionality. Thinking of the Womb as a core of nurture, growth and embrace, the sculpture

suddenly twists and turns to consume and merge with the artists’ work. The morphed structure curves and turns and in the shielded caves, new creations spawns, with their own identities and goals.


Ilona Balaga

About The Exhibit:
‘This is not a film about water’ is a new video work by Ilona Balaga that delves into the visual appearances and physical theories of two types of water flows: Laminar Flow - characterized as an orderly flow regime, and Turbulent Flow - a flow running in an irregular and stochastic manner, characterized by chaotic changes in pressure and flow velocity.
 


Corrine Chan

About The Exhibit:Tender Surfaces contemplates digital interaction and data usage in relation to the human body. The work imagines the screen as a kind of skin or membrane that envelopes the virtual space (and its users) to form an organism, and likens data consumption to biological processes such as absorption and digestion.

UnFoji 

About The Exhibit:
Showered with pixels I stand underneath till they begin to penetrate my outer layers. I moblise to find refuge, but its too late. My form has fractured, it won’t be long before I lose critical functions. 

To protect memory, I eject the core and jettison life support. Sharp crack and a screching blast tears through my breath.

Layers part and I am launched into space. 

WAKE UP CALL: ARCHITECTURAL COMFORT IN THE AGE OF PASSIVITY


Text by Pol Esteve. Derived from a course Esteve taught at the Architectural Association in London.

Comfort is a tricky concept. Commonly understood as a positive value, it is a double-edged sword. In his 1948 treatise Mechanization Takes Command, Sigfried Giedion reminds us that the word comfort, in its Latin origin, meant “to strengthen.” It was only after the 18th century, in Western culture, that comfort became identified with “convenience,” he explains. Since then, in architecture, comfort is normally related to bodily experience in terms of sensory relaxation. Generally presented as an objective parameter, comfort refers to a physical state rather than a psychological mode. It is differentiated from wellbeing or happiness as, initially, it does not operate at a mental level, although it might have later consequences upon the mental. Comfort is achieved in an atmosphere where material conditions allow the body to repose. The air, the lighting, the sound, the smell, and the solid elements provide relaxation and avoid pain. In a space that is considered comfortable, activity can be pursued with the minimum effort.

Man shall order and control his intimate surroundings so that they may yield him the utmost ease. This view would have us fashion our furniture, choose our carpets, contrive our lighting, and use all the technical aids that mechanization makes available. — Sigfried Giedion, Mechanization Takes Command (1948)

Since the invention of the modern sofa for the French aristocracy, infinite means of comfort have been introduced into everyday living spaces. With the Industrial Revolution, sophisticated machines, like the escalator or air conditioning, became indispensable in our buildings. The emergence of the digital age brought advanced devices to adjust the qualities of our environment and optimize the use of the city; from domotic systems to geo-localized mobile applications, architecture has undergone profound transformations due to new technologies. Spatial programs and spaces themselves are continuously adapting and being drastically altered according to the requirements of techno-comfort, whether it’s the simple alcove and fireplace that were replaced by central heating, or the neighborhood bar that is rendered obsolete by online-dating apps like Tinder.

With the advent of the 20th century, Modern architecture made techno-comfort a political battle: the Existenzminimum became a central theme. Spatial standards of comfort for the house were developed along with a vision of a functional and productive city. In 1936, Ernst Neufert published Architects’ Data, a guide to architectural design that provides spatial requirements, with specific dimensions, to comfortably accommodate the body in space. Since its first edition it has been translated into 17 languages and re-edited on uncountable occasions. In parallel to Neufert’s polite recommendations on how to optimize our living spaces came impositions: to guarantee minimums of comfort — and also maximum control — public and private spaces have been strongly regulated by legal institutions. This tendency came with the emergence of the nation state, and has achieved, today, the highest level of intervention in the built environment: the volume of rooms, the dimensions of openings, the articulation of programs and the properties of materials are some of the parameters that are regulated by law and by increasingly rigorous building codes.

But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness, I want sin. — Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (1932)

Through the voice of one of his characters, British “acid” novelist and social critic Aldous Huxley warned of the dangers of a society of comfort. He was not the only one. Thinkers like Herbert Marcuse also warned that legal imposition and implementation of a material culture of comfort would bring social and political passivity. Embracing comfort was seen as accepting a hegemonic power that provides everyday ease in order to manipulate, in return, all aspects of our lives. Marcuse, who believed the erotic dimension of the body had an emancipatory role, clearly differentiated comfort from pleasure. Comfort differs from pleasure as the latter may imply demanding and tiresome bodily activation. Pleasure awakes new understandings of reality, while comfort numbs us.

I think we are faced with a novel situation in history, because today we have to be liberated from a relatively well functioning, rich, powerful society. — Herbert Marcuse, Liberation from the Affluent Society (lecture, 1967)

An uncomfortable space can be a pleasurable space. An uncomfortable space can be a space of consciousness. In a 2016 article in El Estado Mental magazine, Paul B. Preciado describes his experience of inhabiting a completely empty house in Greece.

My hips crush against the wood at night and I wake up stiff. Nevertheless, it is an inaugural experience, an aesthetic experience: one body, one space. — Paul B. Preciado, Casa vacía (2016)

In the emptiness of the house, there was no comfort. Preciado describes how techno-bourgeois conventions were suspended. All physical and digital technologies developed with the aim of bodily ease provide fixed and standardized spatial and symbolic relationships. Techno-comfort machinery is the catalyst of fixed social and political structures. From Preciado’s point of view, a lamp next to a bed is a marriage of convenience.

Ikea is for the art of inhabiting what heterosexual normativity is for the desiring body. — Paul B. Preciado, Casa vacía (2016)

A well-sized flat with one double room and two single rooms is a machine for the perpetuation of the social norm. A constantly well-illuminated space is a machine for the reproduction of the liberal economy. A well-insulated wall is the fear of the other. But a steep stair is an achievement, a cold flat a reminder of your limits, and a too-small room the perfect place to become lovers.

Discomfort is a weapon.

First appeared in from PIN–UP No. 23, Fall Winter 2017/18.

The Mind Melts Before It Melds Into Earth


Uncomfortable Hope is presented in collaboration with The Wrong Biennale 2021-2022

The Wrong Biennale - celebrating digital culture since 2o13, the wrong is a collaborative effort harnessing the potential of the internet, shaped as a decentralized global art biennale & tv channel, open to participation, happening both online & offline, awarded with sois cultura 2o19 and ehrenerwähnung at s+t+arts 2o2o

Link to Wrong Biennale Broadcast



Other Artist Rooms

In collaboration with The Wrong Biennale
2021-2022
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