Between Everything and Nothing is an ongoing digital curatorial project that experiments with media and materiality, the shifting modes of viewing media, and constructions of curatorial contexts.
This project aims to create inter-generational dialogues with interdisciplinary perspectives, and explore the nature of a new media object whose boundaries form at the edges of disciplines.
It considers the subtle shifts of thinking around the dynamic boundaries of the art object, if there is one, in its temporal qualities, affective resonances, vibrancies, political dimensions, and various representations and articulations mediated through image and text.
What are the non-concrete qualities of objects?
What is the object when a work’s primary means of reproduction and dissemination occur through online digital technologies, before ever being shown in a physical space, for instance, a gallery, screening room or publication, if ever, or if intended to be?
Or, what are the object’s extensions, expansions, and contingencies after being exhibited or expressed?
This project does not aim to disavow the art object and intended viewing modes, but seeks to put into resonance converging and disjunctive forms of art and meaning.
It asks what new consistency of encounter can we engage in in perceiving objects as such, and how may we know them more or otherwise? Is there something possible in change of scale, texture and proximity?
Re-contextualizing objects is not new in art history. (See Surrealism, Dadaism and ostranenie as early 20th century currents, along with exhibits such as Immaterial Objects at the Whitney in 1989.) Neither is residual documentation of the live body in performance art unprecedented.
A mathematician once described to me how making complex geometrical objects through drawing schemata allowed him to conceptualize forms in 4-D that would be otherwise impossible to represent in 3-D.
What new ways of sensing the object may arrive from performing the object through asynchronous chronologies of memory and meaning-making, thereby shaping the body?
What separates movement from dance shares intimacy with what separates language from song.
What new bodies form at the edge?
Between Everything and Nothing consists of various vertically stacked works that build upon each other through juxtapositions, cumulations, and synchronous ways.
There is no single coherent curatorial theme, but rather various curatorial threads that may interweave closely, momentarily or diverge completely.
These curatorial threads begin with the earliest media at the bottom of the site, and conceptually weave their way to the latest media at the top.
Texts for curatorial threads in process:
The opening work is a short essay titled “Studio Visit With Jayoung Yoon: Hair as Ritual Embodied Practice,” which is a first-person account of experiencing Jayoung’s sculptures created from human hair in person, and a text that develops some critical points from conversations on spirituality, cultural beliefs, cycles and process in her studio in Beacon, New York.
Often using her own hair as material, she also works with an element of duration through amassing material over time and meticulously hand-knotting it into form through a slow, meditative process. Previous works have taken the form of wearable hair sculptures, with which she frequently performs in video. Hair as remnants of the body become a trace of origins and memory. In these ways, time also becomes a material.
Jayoung recurrently performs in silence and duration with her back towards us in expansive landscapes or nondescript rooms in her films. With shaved head, her body becomes one radically detached from gender and culture through and in of performing ritual gestures of meditation and objects of hair in nature.
The body acts both as a mechanism for agency and container for meanings for the audience. It reconfigures the way we relate to our interior landscapes through objectified forms, and cultivates an awareness of the performative way we relate to our own bodies.
In closing, the essay points to the sensible lives of things, the sensations that objects impress upon us and embodiment.
From there we move to another text titled “To Build A Home, Susan Cianciolo Collaborates with Thompson Street Studio.” It calls attention to fashion’s relational aspects and its therefore indebtedness to collective authorship in creating spaces around the body.
I wrote this text partially because I felt it was missing. After attending the presentation of this collaboration in December 2014, there was almost no text or photos of the presentation online other than a handful of images at the time in February 2015.
The opening image for this text is a mannequin in a kimono that was made by various hands. The image taps into the cultural, yet still retains a layer of anonymity reminiscent of yet different to that of Jayoung’s practice. While Jayoung’s practice has roots in her Korean background, her work ultimately strives for a universal connectivity through sensation and awareness.
On the other hand, having exhibited in Japan and collaborated with various Japanese artists and makers over the years, Susan’s work often enters into dialogue with cultural traditions and artisan techniques. In the eighth polaroid below the text, for example, the hanging textile could easily be described as boro, a Japanese patchwork textile, traditionally stitched together from second-hand materials and scraps of indigo dyed cotton by peasants, which dates back to roughly 1850 to 1950.
The sensibility of piecing things together and texture marks the transition into the next work, M.M. Serra’s film, “Art Parade.”
Artists (from bottom of site to top):
Between Everything and Nothing, February 2015–present
Curated by Angeli Sion