MY TIME IN THE CULT OF MELTING ANCESTORS
Show up at Louis B James from April 21st until May 31, 2013
Floor 1: An installation of paintings, kinetic sculpture and dioramas built around a 20ish minute video that takes place in the space you observe it in. Kinetics react to the video and are all controlled by a plinth in the center.
Floor 2: A beeping meditation room that is activated by pushing a red button. A mandala begins to spin, 6 screens light up and start beeping. The viewer is invited to use the beeps and images for meditation.
Some images I have so far:
The press release is an essay on Super Mario:
A Japanese playing card company, loosely translated as Leave Luck to Heaven, develops a video game based around a new mythology where its participants become two Italian plumber brothers, who, by undergoing a Joseph Campbell-style hero’s journey through giant green pipes, are transported to a realm of evil turtle beings and anthropomorphic mushrooms. They discover in themselves god-like powers through plants, fungi and astral guidance, as they travel through realms, or worlds, under, on, and above ground. Dark worlds, day worlds, ice worlds, worlds on treetops, worlds underwater. The brothers can break brick walls with their heads, jump on bullets, walk through walls and go down hidden tubes; they accumulate coins to purchase their reincarnation and climb secret plants hidden in boxes to walk on clouds. In lava-soaked, labyrinthine brick castles they battle giant turtle soldiers in order to rescue a human princess, who is always in another castle and replaced with a mushroom man. They finally find her in the 8th world, after completing something perhaps similar to the Buddhist 8-fold path.
Mario is the first hero created in the computational realm. At his core he is binary numbers, code, and logic gates. He is electrons travelling through a Ricoh 2A03 8-bit processor. Through all of us he was brought to life by manipulating an early Christian symbol of the cross and two red Japanese suns on a controller hooked up to a minimalist grey box reminiscent of Robert Morris plugged into a glass tube of deflection coils and electron guns. Children sat in dark rooms engaged in the first of many computational cultist rituals under the glow of the cathode containing images of the plumber hero who could be almost telepathically controlled. Soon Mario embarked on a myriad of adventures to new worlds: riding egg-eating baby dragons; battling robed ghosts, naked ghosts, and other increasingly complex enemies. Then Game Boy came out: the first portable computational mythology. Soon after, Mario discovered the mathematical third dimension, began jumping through paintings to enter his worlds. He climbed mountains, went to new planets and galaxies, discovered computational gravity, and began to collect crystals along with coins.
Mario is an analog for lo-fi spirituality and digital age mysticism. His cosmology is every bit as cryptic as the Popol Vuh, as Vedic rituals or symbolic flesh eating, though from the beginning his story is one we don’t believe but in which we are every bit as invested.