Catalyst Arts Gallery’s latest exhibition, Hyperobjects, runs from Thursday, November 7 until December 5, with its opening night featuring a sonic performance from Jez Riley French with his piece, island | fjórar (dissolve).
French uses uses intuitive composition, field recording, improvisation & photography to explore emotive responses to places and situations, with an interest in largely unnoticed, unreachable sounds. He has recorded resonances of architectural spaces and structures, the sounds of insects feeding, and recently spent time recording the sound of glaciers melting in Iceland. His work has been exhibited in the Tate Modern & Britain, Iceland’s Harpa & Mengi, The Whitworth, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, and beyond. His hand-built microphones have been used to record the Proms, and elements of Star Wars, Chernobyl, and David Attenborough series’.
The title of the exhibition, Hyperobjects – a term coined by philosopher Timothy Morton – refers to entities that exist between phenomena and things impacting us significantly, but of vast temporal and spatial dimensions to be available and accessible by human understanding, within the spacetime we belong to in the material world.
We had a chat to exhibition curator Edy Fung about what drew her to the ideas and media of Hyperobjects: “My curatorial approach is to explore together with a bunch of artists whose works are speculative futuristic, with a non-human emphasis, as well as sound artists/musicians who help us imagine via the potentiality of sound transcended from material readings, capturing these properties on a fourth dimensional plane, or higher, in order to reveal the hyperobjects around us.”
“I have always been drawn to the object-oriented ontological school of thought (which the idea of hyperobjects belongs to), the possibility to view all relations, events, and causality, with an unbiased perspective outside the anthropocentric way, in response to what has manifested in the current environmental consequences and the rise of A.I. technology. The more I learn about this, the more I get haunted by the existence of the gallery I’m in and the fact of being part of this – Catalyst Arts is an example of what a hyperobject is. Within a two-year tenure, I, or no one can possibly have a full picture or comprehension of this Belfast-based art organisation; it is formed and shaped by a rolling board since 1993, through a constant state of flux. This is perhaps what I can contribute to the place, when I leave the gallery towards the end of my directorship.”
The exhibition features the following installations: the sounds of mineral and civil structure fragments dissolving through the actions of acid rain (Jez riley French); live amplified effects of electromagnetic hypersensitivity shared collectively in our modern technology (Mark Peter Wright); sonic properties of plastic, and its wider associations from the everyday to the environmental and political (Matmos); stories told from the perspectives of slime mould, our ancient life companion (Jasmin Märker); speculative world inspired by deep oceanic ecological forms and microbe-centric languages (Baum & Leahy); mesmeric projection of ‘intra-flux’ – a flow
of intra-actions in biogeochemical feedback loops perpetuating across scales (Saša Spačal); Lorenz Attractor, butterfly effect visualised in the gallery space (Joey O’Gorman); and the universe clock redefined through a 64-bit computer’s sense of time (Robin Price).
On November 21, a discussion on Timothy Morton’s Hyperobject will take place at 7pm with Art Research Matters at Platform Arts. The exhibition runs at Catalyst Arts at 5 College Court until Thursday, December 5, with its closing party featuring an audio session of ‘Artificial Natures’ by Mark Peter Wright and ‘2311’ by Saša Spačal, as well as a documentary screening of the exhibition viewed through a robot’s eyes.
Admission is free, but you can reserve your spot for the opening night here.