On view at Smack Mellon until Sunday, February 23
Really Large Numbers (Julia Oldham and Chad Stayrook) imagine the earth after it has been ravaged by climate change and foresee an uncertain future for its human and non-human inhabitants in The Observatory.
The Observatory is a multimedia installation that envisions a post-climate change, post-apocalyptic future. Inside a large sculptural observatory will be a video monitor showing the daily routines of Stayrook, the last remaining human. A three-channel video projection on the large gallery wall depicts earth as a deserted wasteland with a female artificial intelligence (AI) system, performed by Oldham, who acts as both companion and guide to the human, teaching him how to navigate the harsh environment, but also as her own independent character, exploring the world without the bodily limitations of a human. Flipping gender-typical roles, the male human is a captive and limited stargazer searching through a telescope for something unknown in the heavens, while the female AI character has absolute agency. The Observatory reflects on the human desire for immortality in the face of ecological collapse, while taking into account the inevitability of great change.
About the Artists:
Really Large Numbers (RLN) is a laboratory that encompasses the individual and collaborative experiments/expeditions of Chad Stayrook and Julia Oldham. As a team, Really Large Numbers combines science, fantasy and dream language to blur the boundaries between the REAL and the unREAL.