Tuesday, August 19, 2008 at 8pm
Curated by Brel Froebe and Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa
Light Industry presents films, videos, paintings and performances made in response to, or concerned with, the following narrative:
1. One imagines there was a time when there was no separation between Animal and Human. Perhaps at this time Human is not even what we call a human, having no capacity for self-reflection. Human has not yet learned to distinguish or fabricate a hierarchy of life, and sees itself as an integrated part of its environment.
2. Human learns from Animal. Human's survival is directly affected by Animal and just as Human is left to the "whims" of the weather it is left to the "whims" of Animal. Human is still tied to an ecological system while simultaneously developing an awareness of this system and its workings. Animal is teacher, predator and prey.
3. Human relates to Animal as Other. It defines itself by traits it sees in Animal, and, conversely, it assigns its own motives to the actions of the animals around it. This recognition of the aliveness and difference of animals establishes Animal as a resonator of Human's own curiosities, fears, desires. Human creates elaborate myths, using Animal as characters, which explain Human's identity and the workings/origins of the world around it.
4. Human's definitions push it to the top of a created hierarchy. Through its recognition of patterns, Human learns to utilize and take advantage of its surroundings, including Animal. Whereas before there existed a fluidity in definitions between Animal and Human, Animal is now resolutely banished to the realm of the lesser Other. Irrigation, practical domestication and reaping the fruits of the land are the new relations between Human and Nature. Nature becomes a fearsome opponent with which Human competes, gains and loses ground, and is consistently held at a distance. Animal is broken down into two pieces: domesticated (a tool) or wild (a threat.) With these two pieces come a string of other associations: good/evil, strong/weak, cute/ugly, pest/pet.
5. Human develops technology to the point where Animal is no longer necessary for means of production, other than providing flesh. Through technologies of packaging, distribution, industrialization and representation, Human is now divorced from its means of survival. Animal now appears in Human's world as a fetishized object in zoos, children's toys, mass media and as household pets. Animal is trained, tortured or recreated to fit Human's conceptions of it. As in an earlier stage where Human used Animal to define itself through myth, Human again defines itself through the image of Animal. Unlike this earlier period, Human now sets the rules; it creates and abstracts Animal to mirror its own narcissism, insecurities and self-obsession. The household pet is trained to mimic Human love, the zoo animal sanitizes the wild and the cartoon animal socializes Human's children. The impala becomes a fast car, the panther becomes a sports team and the crocodile becomes plastic shoes.
6. Just as Animal has found itself marginalized and mocked within civilization proper, Human has found itself placed in a similar position. It too has had its image and voice usurped, while its attempts at true expression are relegated to the lowest and outer levels of popular acceptance. Once the methods that have been utilized to explain, legitimize and justify a system of homogenization have been rejected, the marginalized Human/Animal is left groping in an empty wasteland of meanings and definitions. The survival of Animal and Human as true autonomous beings is intimately connected. Urban animals survive by using the refuse of the world that is trying to destroy them and the marginalized Human must also create sustenance out of what is deemed trash. Through the destruction of the walls which confine Human and Animal from each other and the recognition of parallel needs, Human gains insight into its true position as yet another beast, unfit to live in the "human" world.
Expect (perhaps) live chickens, animal sounds karaoke, rock and roll, furry wrestling, and more. Full details to come.
Featuring work by Sarah Christman, Martha Colburn, Harry Crofton, Brel Froebe, Grey Gerston, Chris Jolly, Jesse Malmed, Chris Marker, Jason Martin, Takeshi Murata, Ernesto Oroza, Ted Passon, Chris Rice, Benjmain Schultz-Figueroa, Andrew Strassror, Ava Warbrick, and Joyce Wieland, among others. Plus live music by Willy Weird.
Brel Froebe and Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa are interns at Light Industry.
Tickets - $6, available at door.