Response: Noah Simblist_ “am”

Culture Laboratory Collective exhibited at Box 13 Artspace, Houston, TX from Aug 6- Sep 10, 2011. “Response II: Noah Simblist” will be on display at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY from Sep 26-30, 2011 and at Slippery Rock University in PA in January 2012.

I curated the exhibit (or concept for the show.) For an outside influence I asked artist/writer Noah Simblist to compose a sentence from which we would make art: “I am writing this (self reflexive) sentence but it is writing you.”

Each artist in Culture Lab was given a word. I received “am.”
Combing A.M. radio (amplitude modulation broadcasting) and Existentialism –the Lord’s name is “I am” and Descartes philosophy states “I am, I exist”– the piece is designed to pair invisible radio technology with the human desire for self awareness. This awareness is often attempted through understanding and cataloging our surroundings, finding our place in the world.

In this group exhibition “am” attempts to assure it’s place in the exhibit (and sentence) by referencing every other piece in the exhibit, essentially acting as a reflection and catalog of the other works. Using Radio Frequency Identification technology (RFID) the piece allows  connection through radio waves with the art in the gallery, prompting a website display to list information and location of other works while playing an A.M. radio clip searching through different stations.

animated GIF below… click to see it function.

* (You can view the ‘am’ webpage here.)

The piece overall, questions the nature of existence through documentation, employing new technologies and methods to older philosophies. I intended for the piece to question an existence found through ‘reflection’ or ‘cataloging’, offering sophisticated ease in order to gather information which may promote categorization over considered insight.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Each artist was also asked to make a link (video or web) for a QR Code. The video for “am” is a visual equivalent of channel surfing while Descartes philosophy and questioning of existence plays throughout the piece. Sort of a graphic mash-up of distraction amidst inquiry.

Interestingly, two weeks after the “RESPONSE” exhibit this article was published: The London History Museum is now using RFiD technology… RFID Journal


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