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HOW TO WATER, a slow performance REVIEW

HOW TO WATER, a slow performance

Here’s the tumblr output of the project: http://howtowater.tumblr.com

Despite recent breakthroughs in technology water didn’t loose any of it’s meaning as a constant element in life’s history. Beginning from the first creatures developing in the sea, up to recent ideas by key players in the online industry to create artificial life scapes on the fluid surface of the earth. During a 7 day artist camp on the Greek Island Serifos,10 digital-native artists gathered to intervene the current state of the most basic element.

Participating Artists: Anunca Pez, Zafeiria Gkolanta, Eva Papamargariti, Manuel Rossner, Alyona Shapovalova, Loïq Sutter, Thereisamajorprobleminaustralia, Theoklitos Triantafyllidis, Nikolas Triantafyllidis, Sebastian Zimmerhackl

Screening, additionally featuring the works of: Adam Ferriss, Alfredo Salazar-Caro, Anthony Antonellis, Kim Laughton, Motoko Kuzekira & Pvmp Irxn, Rachel Archibald, Taj Borgeois, Vince Mcelvie, Alx Lightning, Eva Fifi, Eva Porre, Georges Jacotey, Peristeri On

Organised and Curated by: Triantafyllidis Theoklitos

Dates: 9 – August 16, 2014

Place: Psili Ammos Beach, Island of Serifos, Greece

 

 

In the middle of August 2014, 10 net artists who met each other and worked together in the internet, took the bold decision to reveal their identities and meet in person. The experiment involved isolating themselves on an island for a week, during which they would create freely, under the theme “how to water”.

Water as a subject and metaphor seems to haunt this new generation of artists. Being forced to live in the digital age with a physical body made of 70% of this transparent, odorless and tasteless element, they must also follow its’ rituals and rules while surfing the fluid landscapesof their tumblr and facebook feeds. Not to mention the sharks that attack the interwebs’ underwater optic fiber networks. For these reasons they decided to dedicate their research and honor the life-giving element, placing their first IRL meeting in a place encircled by it. The Greek Archipelago.

Theoklitos Triantafyllidis, host and organizer of the assembly invitednine other artists in the island of Serifos. In his home, that became the base of their operations, the artists had to coexist in real time. Not onlywere they inspired and organized their actions, but they also took their first steps in physical contact, especially as the internet access was limited. “It was really awkward when I had to speak to some of them internet kids. I would feel more comfortable sending them personal messages in facebook, but because we had no internet I was obliged to actually interact with them. Sometimes I even touched them.”Internationally renowned net artist Eva Papamargariti, which participated in the experiment confesses: “I was horrified in the first couple of days but later got used to it. I now recognize smells, it will take years for google to include this in its services.”

First to arrive on Serifos was the Greek group of artists, while theGerman participants, Manuel and Sebastian, in order to betterexperience the contact with water, changed their route to include a Homeric journey from Crete to Serifos. The night they gathered, a full moon illuminated the mystical ritual, initiating the experiment. Large concentric circles were carved in the sand. A girl and a black dog wereplaced in the center. As the moon rose, the artists immersed in the sea, chanting and dancing in ecstasy. Invoking Poseidon, they were only asking for calm sea and 3 bars of wifi signal.

 

 

Then came the screening. A projection screen was set up inside the sea, under the beat of seapunk music. People at the beach of Psilli Ammos become curious and start gathering around the screen. As soon as the sun sets, a twisted juxtaposition of vernacular youtube and net artists videos hits the screen. A lineup of international artists from the new net art scene submitted their most watery of videos just for the screening. The excited viewers – tourists, locals and our artists ・go on dancing and night diving long after the screening is over.

In the following days, the artists toured the island, looking for points of interest and inspiration. They visited the famous mines, the islands’ dam, local festivals and of course the magnificent beaches of the island, discussing possible art interventions. Nick educated the team with a drone piloting lesson, only to inspire Sebastian to take it fishing.The local fishermen were astonished by the miracle of technology, when before their eyes, the white robotic quadcopter caught a fish and brought it to the feet of the predator. Meanwhile, Major Problem and Theoklitos were occupied with hydrophilic cactus gardening, exploring the local flora and Eva with Zaf were mixing and painting all sorts of materials they could get their hands on. Combining their efforts, they all created a series of floating sculptures releasing them in the sea and forming a slow floating exhibition. Young Loiq from Switzerland was making their soundtrack, mixing Greek poetry, folk and pop music and recording them on google translate, while Manuel was snorkeling and discovering an ancient screen on the bottom of the sea. Some of the other members of the crew were more into meditating and enjoying the idyllic landscape. Alyona, who came all the way from Moscow, was practicing yoga, levitating and communicating with extraterrestrial life forms. Anna, on the other hand, tried to understand the inner workings of the element of water and finally developed the power to frieze objects with her mind. All this left John wandering about the meaning of art while looking up to the starry sky.

The day of the final screening soon came, only to find our team in complete panic. All the slow and flowing work that they did during all these days, had to become solid and be presented to the public. Floaters, fish, water and spiritual performances had to melt in and become something coherent and comprehensible. The floating screenwas erected again, this time on the beach of the port of Serifos. People on their boats came in, bringing sunbeds and drinks and by sunset everything was ready. The new videos produced by the artists during these days, together with the ones submitted through the internet, flowed seamlessly on the screen and reflected on the waves of the sea. Partying and dives were to follow.

Check out what the artists made in the playlist bellow:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyrfVKENBJpFwIzVvh8IY2ufSDOJVrbhR