SES Artist in Residence part of PLANT/PIXEL exhibition

Posted on Monday, April 2nd, 2018

PLANT/PIXEL Soft Turns  8eleven Gallery April 4 — April 22, 2018 Opening April 4th, 7-11pm Auxiliary Programming, Workshop with Serena Lee April 7 2-4pm

8eleven is thrilled to present PLANT/PIXEL an exhibition of new works by Soft Turns in partnership with Images Festival.

The air around us and the ground just beneath our feet. The water, nutrients, toxins that pass through rocks. The microbes that feed interwoven networks of roots. Designated the “Critical Zone” by environmental scientists, the immediate area one metre above and below the surface of the earth has become the focus of intense study. Recognition of its astonishing complexity has necessitated cross-disciplinary collaboration between previously isolated natural sciences. In the lab, scientists maintain controlled environments, isolating all variables, shutting out interference. Similar controls are used in ‘closed loop’ tests, for managing future greenhouses remotely in outer space. In 2016, NASA announced that the first flowers-zinnias-had bloomed in space, after almost succumbing to an unknown mould. Yet “flowers” had already bloomed in space aboard the Soviet ‘Solyut-7’ in 1983: the Arabidopsis Thaliana, a nondescript weed that later became the model test plant for scientific trials.

Substrates, moulds, and plants in outer space are only some of the elements that come together in PLANT/PIXEL–an exhibition by Soft Turns, the collaborative effort of artists Sarah Jane Gorlitz and Wojciech Olejnik. Their video-centric installations begin with looking closely at the small human gestures and intimacies that make up daily life. In PLANT/PIXEL, Soft Turns think-through the Critical Zone. By centering elements that make it up, they access other contentious sites of human interaction-on earth, in soil, in space, and in the ever-expanding digital and virtual realms. Taking over the basement space of 8eleven, Soft Turns present an expansive installation where they create encounters between the material and the digital to better access the details of the world around us.

Soft Turns would like to acknowledge the support of the School of Environmental Sciences Residency Program at the University of Guelph.

Exhibition text by Serena Lee

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