Remedios Terrarium

[March 19 - April 4] [Vernissage 6-8 pm, March 20]
Fine Arts Gallery, Concordia University, 1515 St. Catherine West

[detritus, documentation] [pamphlet in pdf] [postcard in pdf]

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman’s lime. …

(Poems of Dylan Thomas,
published by New Directions in 1952)

Remedios’ Terrarium is a responsive environment, a group show, and a conversation made public. it’s a set of diverse responses to the fable of autopoiesis, imagining living systems as palimpsests of organic plants, woven textile, filament, air, projected video, sound, sensor data, and occasionally, people. It’s a group show in which individual creators and collectives affiliated with the Topological Media Lab (TML) have responded to a call about the themes of a terrarium and delicate life, of the Gallery as a vessel made porous mixing outside and inside, of matter in constant alchemical transformation. Our goal is not to make objects or even particular pieces of media, but events. Certainly in the course of making an event, we produce objects and media and, most importantly, some latent behavior, but all as elements conditioning an event. Its continuously evolving responsive environment changes weather and behavior according to the hour and the day, and according to what’s happening inside or outside its porous boundaries. We arrange our objects in a physical space to leverage the unbounded corporeal intuition that visitors bring with them, so the remedios’ terrarium is an architectural experiment as well as an event.

The Remedios’ Terrarium is also a set of conversations, articulated in things and events. It’s a philosophical investigation carried out in the form of material experiments made of experimental modes of matter. We create things, media instruments, and kinetic plants, “spoken” from diverse perspectives. We can be noisy, divergent, and even contentious, but making and exhibiting remedios’ terrarium — the 100 day long event — requires us to create a common boundary object together. As you walk about the Gallery, you’ll encounter individual and collective echoes of questions and speculations reaching ten years back: how can we make compelling events without convention? What makes some events dead and others live? What is a gesture when we do not assume bodies a priori? how do conventions and bodies come into being or dissolve in the continuously flowing world?

The main Gallery acts as an alchemical vessel mixing multiple species of matter responding to activity inside and outside the space: calligraphic video and sound, plastic cells, structured light, and in certain moments, performers. Other chambers contain sculptural reflections on the terrarium. We compose the exhibition as two and a half week long event breathing according to clocks as well as contingent states.

Remedios' Terrarium features works by affiliates of the Topological Media Lab from Special Individualized Programs, Humanities PhD Program, MFA Studio Arts program, Design Computation Arts, Computer Science, Contemporary Dance, Electroacoustics, Theatre, and the University of Manitoba / Department of Architecture, and Pneuma.

Artistic Direction : Sha Xin Wei
Black Box Sound : Timothy Sutton
Camera Tracking : Jean-Sébastien Rousseau
Cells Concept & Design: Pneuma: Patrick Harrop & Peter Hasdell
Cells Design & Production
- Winnipeg :
Gregory Rubin, Candace Fempel,
Evan Marnoch, Dirk Blouw
Cells Design & Production
- Montreal :
JC Nesci, Jean-Sébastien Rousseau
Documentation (Photo) : Morgan Sutherland,
David Jhave Johnston,
Emmanuel Thivierge
Documentation (Video) : Desh Fernando, Ludwig Manahan
Dynamic Lighting : Harry Smoak
Glass Cones : Lenka Novak
Graphics Programming : Michael Fortin
Networking : Harry Smoak, Jean-Sébastien Rousseau,
Michael Fortin
Plant Systems : Flower Lunn
Promotion : Lynn Beavis, Josée-Anne Drolet, JC Nesci
Print Design : JC Nesci, Valérie Lamontagne,
Josée-Anne Drolet
Project & Event Coordination : Josée-Anne Drolet
Real-Time Calligraphic Video : Jean-Sébastien Rousseau
Roundtable Event Production: Josée-Anne Drolet
Roundtable Documentation : Harry Smoak, Tim Sutton, David Jhave Johnston
Sebald Puppet Theatre
Concept & Design :
Mark Sussman, Ayesha Hameed
Sensate Tapestry : Marguerite Bromley, XS Labs
Sensate Tapestry Electronics : Elliot Sinyor
Sensate Tapestry Sound: Doug van Nort, Elliot Sinyor
Sound Field : Timothy Sutton
State Composition : Sha Xin Wei
State Engine : Emmanuel Thivierge,
Morgan Sutherland (Yon Visell)
Suitcase : Elena Frantova
Technical Design & Consultation : Harry Smoak
Touch2 Calligraphic Video : Jae Ok Lee, Jean-Sébastien Rousseau
Touch2 Choreography : Soo-Yeon Cho
Touch2 Dancers : Soo-Yeon Cho, Kiani del Valle
Touch2 Set Construction : Josée-Anne Drolet, Jae Ok Lee,
Marine Antony, Jerome Delapierre
Touch2 Set & Costume Design : Josée-Anne Drolet, Jae Ok Lee
Touch2 Sound : Timothy Sutton
Touch Video : Desh Fernando, Touch Creators
Vernissage Sub-Event Design : David Jhave Johnston
Vitrine Display & Design : Flower Lunn, Elena Frantova, Nadia Frantova, Jean-Sébastien Rousseau,
JC Nesci
Vitrine Design Technical Assistance : Ludwig Manahan
Web Design & Promotion : Elena Frantova, David Jhave Johnston