past exhibition
umwelt
michael dodge, justin michell, justin waugh
5.4.2013
























umwelt

Michael Dodge
Justin Michell 
Justin Waugh

Opening May 4, 2013 / 7 - 10 pm



"...this eyeless animal finds the way to her watchpoint [at the top of a tall blade of grass] with the help of only its skin’s general sensitivity to light. The approach of her prey becomes apparent to this blind and deaf bandit only through her sense of smell. The odor of butyric acid, which emanates from the sebaceous follicles of all mammals, works on the tick as a signal that causes her to abandon her post (on top of the blade of grass/bush) and fall blindly downward toward her prey. If she is fortunate enough to fall on something warm (which she perceives by means of an organ sensible to a precise temperature) then she has attained her prey, the warm-blooded animal, and thereafter needs only the help of her sense of touch to find the least hairy spot possible and embed herself up to her head in the cutaneous tissue of her prey. She can now slowly suck up a stream of warm blood."

-Giorgio Agamben paraphrasing Jakob von Uexkull

In von Uexkull's writings on biology, the term umwelt refers to the "self-centered world" which an organism Inhabits phenomenologically. This exhibition uses this idea to describe the inner environment inherent to artistic practice. As humans and artists, we are able to create artificial umvelten with their own specific elements, grammar and sets of rules. Inside each paradigm or framework the artist acts as the user of a new language or the player of an invented game. This effectively creates an altered state, a subjective world populated only by its own limited, self imposed range of ideas, forms or signifiers. While able to express an inner logic or structure, this activity can exist independently of any linear, propositional logic, and enact itself directly in space.