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OPEN CALL FOR AESTHETIC EXTREMOPHILES
Figments and fragments
at the frontiers of culture
- If your art was a wild animal, what would it be?
- If your art had DNA, what would it look like?
- If your art migrated to another world, would it survive?
MEGALITH is an online and offline exhibition of The Wrong biennale,
investigating aesthetics of ephemerality and eternity at the top of the world.
It will be hosted at the northernmost human frontier town, in Svalbard.
Accepted submissions will be exhibited on Metamer’s ‘Wrong Router’,
a Piratebox device which displays art for anyone nearby via wifi.
Ancient humans made shrines to encode messages to the gods. These shrines formed part of the shamanic infrastructure that allowed our world to interface with others. Through MEGALITH, we send messages of our own to other worlds, not within the fossilised remains of the past, but as living creatures that will inhabit the ruins of the future.
Participants from around the world will be able to send digital and physical artefacts for shrine-building over the course of the biennale. These vanguard artists of MEGALITH will shape the foundational rituals and mythology of this practice through their seeding of its most basic elements. The naïve shrine will draw ideas and materials from participants to grow continuously.
Our shrine is built to house art that can survive other worlds. Inside it is a terrarium, for art better suited for postworlds and xenoworlds, fashioned as a vessel. The shrine physically converts art into DNA form for long-term placement within the terrarium’s ecosystem.
As the building blocks of all known forms of life, DNA is the most universal information encoding known to humans.
It can easily last tens of thousands of years in poor conditions.
DNA storage maximises the chances of the shrine’s divinations being understandable into the far future, by beings like ourselves and beings too radically different for us to properly conceptualise.
You can send us art to be transported to other worlds for any reason, whether for the purpose of its quarantine, conservation, crossbreeding, exploration, or the general safety of humankind.
With a bit of luck, and the right offerings to the gods, the shrine’s inhabitants will survive through exile, trials, tribulations, fire, brimstone….
There exists art that can only be expressed in a private language. It preserves feelings, memories, and ideas like ants in amber.
Its audience consists entirely of nonhumans and not yet extant humans, who inhabit worlds unseen and worlds to come.
Such art defies communication now but may someday be decoded. By converting them into DNA format, these living memories can be extended beyond the living.
We encourage you to send us your unique samples of highly specific or untranslatable emotions such as saudade, sehnsucht and mono no aware.
The presence of art not meant for this world implies another world to which it belongs. Since the art is here, it is not in that other world: all art is on a pilgrimage. However, homesteading postworlds and xenoworlds is dangerous, and there is no guarantee of safe arrival.
Nearly all art ever created has become extinct. Most worlds lack art that was meant for them.
We call for art that will populate the worlds to come and the worlds between: art too powerful for this world; art too pure for this world; art without any family or potential mates; art that could act as founders of new populations of art; art for a world without art; Lazarus species for a world which no longer knows the story of Lazarus.
Send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org along with some info about yourself and the art.
Feel free to use file hosts like wetransfer.com.
If you want, you can specify whether you want your work
- preserved for ETERNITY,
- allowed to reach EXTINCTION upon the end of the exhibition,
- OFFERED UP TO THE GODS who will decide its fate.
MEGALITH is open to the public November 2019 to March 2020.
This exhibit is accretional. It will incorporate new material over time.
To appear at the gallery exhibition in Svalbard, please submit by October 15 2019. Otherwise, you may submit any time online or by mail during the biennale.
MEGALITH | https://megalith.metamerlabs.io/call