Polycelium.net at Eclipse 7th Athens Biennale 2021

co-curated by Omsk Social Club and Larry Ossei-Mensah under the artistic direction of Poka-Yio.

Four channel video/sound multimedia installation

Dimensions variable.

Polycelium.net 2021

color video with sound

Duration: 26 minutes

With the support of Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Greece and Fullbright scholarship

 

Polycelium.net is the first of an ongoing series that will examine different aspects of the novel urban ecosystems as they are constantly evolving. The first of its series Polycelium.net is about being a bird and a human employee in a megacity. For this experimental documentary three personalities and their relationships with birds or bird like living are visited. Mike Scot a legendary Brooklyn rooftop pigeon keeper and owner of Pigeons on Broadway pet store, Elizabeth Carlen biologist who captures urban pigeons and studies their DNA to determine their family ties and nesting habits in the city, and Louis Vac who takes as along on one of the regular dumpster dives of the freegan community, people who like birds and all other urbanophile organisms feed of the cities immense food waste. Interrupting the documentation of these stories is footage of collected object artefacts of the working culture and their minute details go under the stereoscope looking for links that remind us they too are of the natural world.

Polycelium.net / office 2021

Office chairs, custom chair covers (dye sublimation printed textile & wooden fabric), galvanised steel, pitch fork hay rake, bicycle parking rack, engraved acrylic, dog lease, dog name & vaccination tag, copper electroplated dog's spine, custom marine plastic made terrazzo, water plants, water, compost, industrial plastic barrel, plastic water tank, led strip lights, electronics, custom mugs, pens, hand steriliser, protective face mask, spoon, fork, water glass, wine and cocktail glass, glass ashtray, 3d printed cryo-habitat corals (public domain by marcusnystrand), sea shells, kitchen sink.

Dimensions variable

Three screensaver videos:

Reverent & Midget 2021

color video, 00:43

Subway & Reverent 2021

color video, 00:23

Face off 2021

color video, 02:00

Commissioned and produced by Athens Biennale 

The installation or viewing situation for the video draws reference from a particular “biotope”, repeated in the megacity, which is the office, the simulated hunting ground of the urban ecosystem, the clashing point between nature and culture that humans most frequent. It is the primary control center, the pressure and comfort zone.

   Polycelium Office stage sets an office space at night when employees are gone and desktop monitors dream their screensavers. The installation consists of three desks , each a different viewing perspective and narrative through which the video can be seen.

   The first desk is for the new employee on their very first day and it is engraved with a job application email, a poetic merging of numerous sample job applications emails found online and excerpts from  "The Birds" by Aristophanes. The story of a city planned by humans, built and inhabited by birds and their dreams for it to be the best city that ever existed .

    On the second employee’s desk there is a copper electroplated animal spine, attached by leash and collar to a set of bicycle parking bars. A skeletonized forgotten pet, a binding dependence, the valorization of the tying down of the animal spirit to partake in the routine of office employment.

    The third larger desk holds a kitchen sink, connected to plumbing that moves water around and through tanks in a continuous pointless loop, making the sink more like a fountain, and the entire office like a gigantic gadget “tabletop Zen fountain”. A mechanical energy flow and plugged-in spiritualism, to find comfort in isolated stress-relieving properties of nature and the soothing white noise of the pumping mechanism. The sink sits on a custom terrazzo surface, a surface made from plastic and organics fragments cast in resin and smoothed to a polish, creating a material amalgamation that references the chapter on waste.

 All three desks balance on the tips of pitch forks, symbols of manual work and food production which also renders them a zoomorphic grouping, balancing on their backs the synthetic invisible surfaces of the digital.

 

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Polycelium.net / office 2021

installation view

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Polycelium.net 2021, film stills

color video with sound

26:00

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Polycelium.net / office 2021

installation view

Polycelium_net_screensaver stills_1.2.1.jpg

 

Polycelium.net / screensaver, Face off 2021

color video, 02:00

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Polycelium.net / office 2021

Detail views

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To Whom it May Concern,

I wish to introduce myself and apply for the job opportunity you advertised on your carriers page. Yours is a company that would provide me with the ideal space to put my personality, skills and motivation to work.

In my experience, you could not find your country again from here.Every way has been paved, roads, routes, paths. You must look to your bird guide and inhabit the dome.

My bird guide tells me what it has said before. You must build an imperfect place.

I feel I would be a good fit with your team. I used to be human too. I have years of

experience and I believe I am ready to move up to the position.

I have consistentely exceeded my targets, hunted down all opportunities to be of service. I have given cities grand and glorious names, I have delivered their fortunetelling first. I have written the rules of a city still unbuilt.My work experience would translate well into the

industry. To be a bird means to worry not about expenses for food and other needs. To be a

bird is to rule over humans.

I am extremely knowledgable and familiar with this kind of environment. Alas! the earth!

the clouds! the nets! the!traps! to open a head like an egg shell and kiss it.

During my time there, I focused on connections and was given the responsibility of increasing participation. My given objective was to eventually make the connecting arteries short and communication instantaneous enough to facilitate a total merging of components

into one smooth automated application. I was happy to do so, engagement has become an important metric.

Confidence in my experience and communication skills gives me unique abilities to convey product benefits effectively. I can carry pots and fall down the stairs, I can also bless the sacrifice of food to the birds.

I have consistentely exceeded my targets and been recognized for outstanding service.Your life will be easy, but too busy. Your every thought will spontaneously become a reality.

Eventually you will probably have to stop thinking of words and wings.

I would be delighted to discuss with you how I might be an asset to the team and contribute to the continued growth of your establishment.The wall is finished.

I would enjoy an opportunity to talk wiyh someone in your organization to see where my skill set would be of the greatest benefit to your company. I know I could be naluable to any department.

Thank you for your consideration, I look forward to hearing from you .

Best Regards,

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Polycelium.net / office 2021

Detail views

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Polycelium.net / office 2021

installation views

Polycelium_net_screensaver stills_1.1.1.jpg

 

Polycelium.net / screensaver, Reverent & Midget 2021

color video, 00:43

POLYCELIUM.NET_Athens Biennalle#7_2021_HYPERCOMF_4.jpg

 

Polycelium.net / office 2021

installation view

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Polycelium.net 2021, film stills

color video with sound

26:00

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Polycelium.net / office 2021

Detail views

POLYCELIUM.NET_Athens Biennalle#7_2021_HYPERCOMF_15.jpg

 

Polycelium.net / office 2021

installation view

Polycelium_net_screensaver stills_1.3.1.jpg

 

Polycelium.net / screensaver, Subway & Reverent 2021

color video, 00:23

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Polycelium.net / office 2021

installation view

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Polycelium.net / office 2021

Detail views

Polycelium_net_screensaver stills_1.3.2.jpg

 

Polycelium.net / screensaver, Subway & Reverent 2021

color video, 00:23

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Polycelium.net / office 2021

Detail views

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Polycelium.net 2021, film stills

color video with sound

26:00