Syn-apsis/Syn-soma

When I was ordering my notes for the blog I realized that  two events, respectively the Speed Dating for artists and scientists and the gallery exhbition had the same prefix: Syn, used to express something acting together, united, in SYN-chrony. In the first case, syn-apsis normally refers to the fusion of two homologous chromosomes in the phase of meiosis. in our case, it referred to the possible connections arising from random and quick (5 minutes) encounters.
The speed dating session, aside from being incredibly noisy and, I bet, chaotic if one was observing it from the outside, had people sitting in couples at different tables, one floating and the other fixed. they would start talking about their interests and projects and were incuraged to find affinities in interests, aspirations etc… when prompted, the floating individual would proceed to the next table.
while apparently silly and neither particularly “academic” nor “scientific” this little session had the great quality to let people who would never have a chance, to meet and start a dialogue. my interest was mainly to become aware of the variety of individuals who attended the festival and I was surprised to see how many improbable connections could be established in a mere 5 minutes.

the second “SYN” was placed before Soma, as the title of the exhibition curated by Michael Alstad and Camille Turner featuring Steve Daniels and Robyn Moody.

the title was evocative of the very physical kinetic connections existing between the artificial and the organic through a subtle mechanical mimicry of natural entities. thus, the “sin” signified the unlikely, yet unavoidable encounter between the organic and the inorganic, the lively and the mechanic.

in particular, Steve Daniels’ Sessile consisted of 25 kinetic AI sculptures that reacted to a myriad of different, and often unpredictable events: change in shades, movements, color etc…

Robyn Moody’s “Heart Lake as seen through the eyes of Manley Natland” reproduced artificially, using differently shaped black gears, a water source (in this case Heart lake whose geographical shape has been reproduced in this work) in Alberta located in the Athabasca region, a territory that has become infamous for the ruthless extraction of oil and its resulting water and territory pollution. the kinetic piece reproduces the singleminded vision of Manley Natland, a geologist who came up in the 1950s with a plan to release the Alberta oil mixed with sand using an underground nuclear blast. in Moody’s piece, the spinning gears that cover the surface of the lake are topped with little mirrors. the spinning and the shininess of the constantly moving objects hit by light mimic the separation of oil from sand.