The (inaugural international/internet/inter-archive) Menagerie Delegation is visiting the Tower to Utopian Aspirations on a diplomatic mission accompanied by an attaché of Houseflies. Noah Travis Phillips’ solo exhibition Menagerie Delegation Visits the Tower to Utopian Aspirations (Делегация зверинца посещает башню к утопическим устремлениям) presents three artworks, all made of multiple parts, and installed throughout the space(s).
Tower to Utopian Aspirations (Башня утопических устремлений) consists of 17 parts, and is a collage of cut-to-shape GAN modules, developed by the artist, as part of their ongoing dialogue with publicly-available algorithmic systems. It is an homage to those endless (radical) dreams that the world can visibly, possibly, obviously, be better. It references Suprematism and Constructivism, Tatlinʼs Tower or the project for the Monument to the Third International, as well as the geodesic domes and zomes of utopian countercultural communities.
(inaugural international/internet/inter-archive) Menagerie Delegation ((первый международный/интернет/межархивный) Делегация зверинца) has its origins in Phillips’ private media archive, and contains 39 individual delegates (listed below); different characters in this drama, representing the artist and their ideas and feelings as they travel to opposite sides of the globe/world/planet. The entities in the delegation form an ecology and family of referents, made found and modified images from the artist’s archive.
While those two works act as a duet; the Houseflies (домашних мух) – a suite of more than fifty GAN drawings – perform a kind of chorus. Whether presented primarily as a cluster opposite the other works, or spread more evenly throughout the entire exhibition space, they sing (buzz) together. Other sentient beings trying to make it in the universe, as are we all.
Just as the individual artworks consist of multiple pieces the entire exhibition is multi-centered. Developed as a site-responsive installation for the Plague Office experimental project space in Kazan, Russia the exhibition will also be presented, concurrently, and in a modified configuration, in Denver, Colorado, at the Rude Gallery at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. Prints made in Russia are made on A4 size paper. Prints made in Denver are made on Letter-size paper. There is some very slight distortion in the size of the prints and in the exact dimensions of various delegates, depending on how they fit into the subtly different proportions of these dimensions. All assets/files were delivered to Russia digitally, where they were printed and cut to shape by the curator and his team, then installed according to the artist’s instructions and guidance.
The delegation is sent to connect, communicate, and to relate – to explore, and to learn – art transcends, exists simultaneously; the virtual/digital/actual/international blurs. The show is a very personal collection that speaks to inter-/trans-national and universal themes. Menagerie Delegation Visits the Tower to Utopian Aspirations overcomes distances, in a spirit of creativity and peace, crossing borders, forming a circuit of signification(s), in a worldwide network of art(ists) and rhizomatic possibilities.
— Noah Travis Phillips