May 3, 2010 - August 30, 2009
Bertelsmann Campus Center

With Moving out of the way of an empty space, artist Kamau Amu Patton appropriates the public bulletin board as a site for the dissemination of a guided experience: a visualization exercise to program an experience of human consciousness through a set of instructions.

Moving out of the way of an empty space is a project that continues Patton’s interest in visualization and imagination as it relates to virtual experiences, games, and cybernetics. Before becoming homo sapiens (knowing man), humankind was also known as homo imaginans (imagining man). Before language dominated human thought, primitive humans related to the world through image. Words came to function as labels and abstractions, allowing humans to detach themselves from primary experience, in order to categorize and analyze it. The rediscovery of the importance of visualization reflects the artist’s desire to break through the labels and abstractions that enclose literate homo sapiens. Nevertheless, we are bombarded with images in every aspect of our lives most of which operate as signs with a great deal in common with text. Yet, it is this same text or language that divorces us from the perceived image, both external and internal, but also experiential. Patton seeks to bring our attention to this rediscovery, as a rarefied operation within an image-saturated, albeit language-based, society.

The sacred form of the triangle becomes an image construct – dematerialized and rematerialized in the affective space of the user’s mind. Visualization becomes a sculptural medium shaped by means of instructions for the user to see, read, breathe, move, hear, and cogitate. The triangle, as a form and as text, makes reference to the golden section, aesthetics of divine proportion, an obscure cellular unit/composition within Wolfram computation cycles, and self-assembly within complexity theory. These three points connected by three lines are slippery; a triangulation unable to reach consensus. Though a non-neutral form, can the triangle be traced a priori to its eponymous designation and projected beyond futurological significance?

Through his presentation of a guided visualization and meditation exercise, Patton further presents an inquest beyond phenomenological perception and into the epistemological possibilities of cognitive predispositions. The complex relationship between images and text/language imply a system of knowledge existing before our perceptual faculties. A simple visualization exercise and guided experience may offer a path into the recognition of forms manifested in but not derived from our environments. Perhaps our denomination as homo sapiens is appropriate after all.

As part of the exhibition, a public visualization exercise, utilizing video and sound, will take place on May 4 at 5:30pm in Weis Cinema.

Kamau Amu Patton is an artist based in New York and San Francisco. He received his MFA from Stanford University in 2007 and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Sociology. Patton has exhibited his work in solo exhibitions at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Queens Nails Annex in San Francisco, Machine Project in Los Angeles and Tilton Gallery in New York. He has worked collaboratively on artists’ projects at MoMA in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Curated by CCS Bard Graduate Student Michelle Hyun.

The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College is the third venue to host Matthew Higgs’s (Curator and Director of White Columns) bulletin board project. CCS and Higgs collaborated to begin a bulletin board program at Bard in the fall of 2007 with the understanding that the graduate students at CCS would curate it. The bulletin board is an enclosed glass case divided into three panes by aluminum bars. As of January 26, it has migrated from outside of the CCS Library to its new location in the Bertelsmann Campus Center, adjacent to the billiard tables.


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