Kattou and Moris, who both live between Athens and London, will present a series of new works, which include free-hanging sculptures of cloud landscapes on photographic gelatin, and wall sculptures created from a mixture of resin, metals, and bauxite powder. These wall sculptures are indexical 3D recordings of the spaces inside and around server computers found in datacentres. By becoming material positives, these negative spaces bearing the imprints of wires and components transform into strange hybrid exoskeletons and speculatively fossilized techno-waste.
In a lecture titled How Better to Register the Agency of Things, Bruno Latour shows the audience a photograph taken from the seat of an airliner. The window of the plane frames a partial view of the wing and front section of the jet engine. Thousands of meters below the engine is a view of a patch of the north Atlantic filled with scattered pieces of ice. Latour tells the audience: “In earlier times I would have seen the ice and the reactor as two separate things. But now when I look at the ice and the reactor of the Boeing itself, you feel that they are related so that the distinction between foreground and background is finally gone. It’s very difficult to see the ice just as a spectacle in the new/old idea of a landscape. There is no landscape anymore, we are in it.”
This distinction between interior and exterior, foreground and background, is echoed by the way the objects on display frame a prospective viewer. Instead of the classic conception of the viewer as a disinterested subject in relation to autonomous works of art, these objects propose the viewer as an active subject who completes the Mobius strip of landscape-object-subject. By extension, these works were made specifically for the Berlin space, which doubles as a vitrine with large floor-to-ceiling windows. These windows frame the works inside, while the transparency of the sheet glass partly eliminates the boundaries between inside and out. We find ourselves amidst an interplay of material and semiotic tools attempting to describe the cloud and the mass and polluting infrastructure it renders abstract. Latour’s example of the ice and jet engine reminds us that language fails to describe the interwoven relationships these distinct elements have, and continue to have, far into the future.
— Thomas Butler