Ru En

Signs of Life

Signs of Life
Dates: June 30 — July 24, 2015
Venue: Gallery 21

Modern science and successful experimentation in the field of biotechnology, genetics, and information science are fundamentally changing our understanding of life. More and more often, and more and more persuasively, we hear the question, „Is it possible to create artificial intelligence?” Striving to answer this question unites scientists—biologists, chemists, anthropologists, programmers, and engineers, as well as philosophers and artists—as they erase the fundamental differences between „natural” and „artificial”. Successes in synthetic biology in the field of cloning, growing tissues from stem cells, transplanting organs, even the brain, make such a possibility all the more real. Humanity stands on the threshold of solving the Secret of how life arose. However, the mechanism whereby nonliving matter is transmuted into living as before remains a puzzle.

A joint project by Sergey Katran and Ilya Romanov, „Signs of Life”, is making an attempt to create the artificial world of the Future. The key word here is „attempt”. Pondering hypotheses in natural science on the creation of the living world, the authors are constructing a model of a microcosm, a lost world, a brief moment before the evolutionary explosion. Nature is pregnant with life, but the plants and animals inhabiting that world have so far not been animated. Grasses are growing out of synthetic materials, and the beasts, lacking hides, are reminiscent of taxidermic manikins. Signs of life. Machinations of life. The huge seeds of a sunflower give hope and sway, and from inside them puzzling sounds arise. Phrases from the symphony by Vladimir Martinov, „Children of the Otter”, based on the poem of the same name by Velimir Khlebnikov, make their way into some of them. The music „HORTUS” by Ilya Romanov is Dark Ambient genre, that sets a mood appropriate to the moment—an uneasy expectation. The secret of life will be discovered. The secret of life will be discovered. The secret of life will be discovered. This phrase must be repeated like an incantation 5435 times.

Sergey Katran, Ksenia Podoynitsyna