The Model Citizen
In this exhibition we are not, however, offering a singular alternative model to the way citizenship can be scaled but the more difficult and challenging task of employing metamodeling or, ‘a discipline of reading other systems of modelling, not as a general model, but as an instrument for deciphering modelling systems in various domains’ (Guattari, 2012: 27). Attendees to the exhibition will be engaged with the very acts (models) of becoming model citizens. The exhibition is a creative- political act. The exhibition is also playful and at times interactive: a number of the models invite engagement, interaction, offering attendees the chance to think and shape the world differently as they encounter the installation.
The cold hands of Sisyphus, the poetic bodies of dance, the surface aura of celebrity culture, the post-truth of Trump, surveying data algorithms, the wild Anthropocene, the AI virus, and a gaggle of teetering disembodied newsreaders together haunt the exhibition, as does the spirit of the carnival, and the agency of the artist activist who has decided to model citizenship in new and transformatory ways.
Agamben, Giorgio. Infancy and History: the Destruction of Experience. Verso, 1993. Agamben, Giorgio. State of Exception. Vol. 2. University of Chicago Press, 2005. Anderson, Benedict. Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. Verso Books, 2006. Guattari, Félix. Schizoanalytic Cartographies. A&C Black, 2012. Adorno, Theodor W. Minima moralia: Reflections on a damaged life. Verso, 2005. Needham, Alex. “Jonas Mekas, titan of underground filmmaking, dies aged 96”, The Guardian, Thursday 24th January, 2019, available at: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/jan/23/jonas-mekas-titan-of-underground-filmmaking-dies-aged-96 Smith, Adam. The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Penguin, 2010.
What does the model citizen mean to you?
Dancing supports the desire to experience the body, as itself, in the present. My dancing body waits, surges, seeks and waits again. What is this body I have and how does dancing uncover it? The thickness of a surge of energy, the inevitability of gravity, the revelation of a fall. What truth do others witness in my dancing body, my aging body, my body that holds and encounters the material and the imagined? What is shared between two bodies?. Sometimes I don’t know what I know and other times I hold off from knowing because in that state lies the place of pauses, of waiting. I am person, a citizen, when I am dancing, a human who knows how to search and how to forget.
Asim Bhatti, John MCCormick & Adam Nash Wild System Neuron Conductor, 2019
3D printed robot, virtual environment, generative spatial soundscape, hemispherical mirror projection installation dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artists
Neuron Conductor is a hybrid biological-machine. In this artwork, a model of a biological brain controls a robot arm to conduct a generative musical score. The robot interacts with the biological neural network consisting of mosquito neurons to create new musical procedures; viruses such as dengue and ZIKA are the source material for the machine’s striking compositions. The introduction of stimuli to ZIKA virus-infected mosquito neurons causes signature variations in the patterns - they are filtered through the robot to create the robot’s movement, which generates the music.
The bio-robot is a study of a system that incorporates biological, digital and hardware components into itself for its own purpose of creation; it is a hybrid model of entity, creation, citizen.
Grateful acknowledgement to the Factory of the Future at Swinburne University for the generous loan of the robot. wildsystem.net