Where: museo d’arte contemporanea Villa Croce
When: June 13 – September 7, 2014
curated by CHAN
realized with contributions from Nichola Czyz
“It is our duty as men and woman to behave as though limits to our possibilities do not exist.
We are collaborators in the creation of the universe”.
— Teilhard de Chardin
The initial inspiration of this particular framework is from a landscape mosaic made of the Saturnine moon Titan in the year 2004 from the still ongoing Cassini-Huygens mission (a collaboration between NASA, ESA, and ISA). The original mosaic was a patchwork of thirty landscape images taken across 5 kilometres while the Huygens probe was entering the most distant celestial body we have yet to successfully land on and relay back information from. The shape of the framework matches that of the mosaic “Titan Descent”, an assembled image manufactured by CICLOPS (the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS) that also reveals the actual landing site of the satellite probe Huygens.
The first observed satellite of Saturn was discovered by Christiaan Huygens* (hence the eponymous name of the space probe) in the 17th century and initially named Saturn I, then as more moons were discovered, Saturn IV, and then Saturn VI.
The 19th century astronomer John Herschel kept with the tradition to name celestial objects from ancient Greek myths, and so he named all the then known moons of Saturn after the Titans and their cohorts, with the first simply named Titan (a name that inherently suggests plural entities). Kronos or Saturn, the ancient god of Time, was himself one of the Titans who had overthrown (with the aid of his mother Gaia, goddess Earth, and four of his eleven brothers) the previous hegemonic and patriarchal deity, the god of sky, Uranus.
Interested in the analogous processes and techniques used in celestial visualization and extraterrestrial image production as the creation and development of new subject-positions for the third millennium, the artist is captivated by these strange extraterrestrial frames that emerge as a result of complex layering, multiple perspectives, and polychronic synchronization.
It is through these manifold processes of mosaic that a new lens or frame is articulated, and it is his belief that this new framework requires new archetypes and observer-behaviours^.
This is where science and language meets its own mythic origins. The gazing of the ancient seers, oracles and astronomers into the dark realms of obsidian or the night sky revealed to them many stories, poems, visions of the future and systems of knowledge, such as time itself. By looking into the darkness still today, depths of omnipresent archetypes can begin to reveal themselves and previously hidden signs can emerge. The artist offers dark geological surfaces in an extraterrestrial framing to reflect on what might be outside of territories of thought, durations of subjects, and traditions of knowing. It is in this sense that we can think of his work as an inverse frame, much in the tradition of Piero Manzoni’s Pedestal for the World.
Jol Thomson was born in Canada where he also gained his first degrees from the University of Toronto. He graduated from the Staedelschule, Frankfurt, Germay in 2013. He is currently based in Berlin. His research practice spans diverse media.
CHAN is a non-for-profit association and a collective curatorial space active in Genova since 2009. CHAN makes the latest artistic research easily understood using a simple language. CHAN promotes the circulation of artistic production and ideas by its publishing activity.