Austin, TX and Oswego, NY
We are a collective
If well over half the world’s population live in urban areas then it must be accepted that we have crossed a critical threshold which seriously undermines the notion of a divide between nature and culture.
To be in the world is to be involved in change. To interpret is to act, to act is to act collectively, and all action involves change. There is no position outside of having an effect (likewise, there is no position from the outside). Can we act in a manner that addresses the human and its environment as a consortium of collective entities (entities are complex assemblages that cross many borders and boundaries -- biological, technological, social, and material). It is never a question of the individual versus the collective -- but always a question of collectivity and the emergence of a specific form of collectivity. The human is a good example of this -- it is an organism that is the symbiotic collective union of over five hundred species. Things, entities, and organisms are embodied, embedded, and symbiotic. Thus, what would an experimental engagement with the world be like through the filter of collectivity?
For Locust Projects
Bartow + Metzgar have mapped out a section of the city surrounding LP, bounded by highways and water, through the use of virtual mapping platforms. These were used to investigate Miami from afar i.e., New York, Texas. From this investigation, a system of directives was produced to establish routes for urban walks while in Miami. The walks where conducted with the use of a videometer, a wheeled walking apparatus for recording the surficial landscape as qualities of time and distance. What is recorded says less about what Miami is and more about what a landscape becomes when not seeking out productions of identity or representation.
Experimentation with an urban landscape is at the core of this project; how does one assimilate these urban environments of the actual and virtual through machinic assemblages for interacting with the world? How do we experience both environments in a manner that is embodied, emergent, experimental, and transformative? B+M’s exhibition at Locust Projects is a synthesis of these environments organized as a three-dimensional map of the urban.
Richard Metzgar, Oswego, NY
Paul Bartow, Austin, TX and Watkins Glen, NY