Sam Siwe / GO ON / Opening / Garret Grimoire, 18.09.2015, 19.00, WIEN

Sam Siwe

Opening 18.09.2015, 19.00

Garret Grimoire
Mollardgasse 36/13
1060 Vienna
only by appointment:
+43 01 69918211896

Composed by Oona von Maydell

While I was diving in the ocean, close to south africa, the sea keeps on flushing the warm water on my body. The salty water carrys my so I started to dream about some jellyfishes; unfortunately I absorb to much water and something startet to drawn me down. Reasonably I fall in a mindless state, I found myself surrounded with seahorses and jellyfishes.

I was terrified: if they overtake this living ocean, and when all left in the ocean is them, they become our main source of food.

Luckily some old fisher crosses in situ on his traditional fishing boat from Senegal. Carried my unconscious body out of the water and brought me back to the beach were I was living in a cabbin.

Some days after recovery, I decided to ask the swedish artist Sam Siwe, who is living and working in Berlin, to be one of two artist I would like to invite to Garret Grimore, beeing part of my residency invitation.

In the following part, Nora Schultz addresses some lines about Sam Siwe´s technical interventions to us.

It’s been a known fact since the 1970s that the sea slug Elysia chlorotica is able to steal and inhabit the genes of the food it eats, incorporating it into its chromosomes.

We’ve all seen these pictures of ever-growing, everlasting sea slugs covering ocean floors that morph their bodies into algae-like formations. When the algae dies out, they can still live on photosynthesis, a skill that was part of the algae’s genetic ability that they had taken over, and they can go on living on nothing but light for months. Then, when pollution increased in the oceans and the air, and light was reduced to a minimum, we could see them almost instantly changing track, eating and incorporating our rubbish that now floated over the seas and that had killed the algae, but not the slugs, who even managed to feed their chromosomes with the genes and informational energy of the new conqueror. Where flower-like bulbs and tentacles once grew out of their sluggy bodies, weird but still natural looking in a way, now smudgy “plastic” bags grow out of them, and they use them like wings underwater. Slimy tin can-looking buildings hang on them like slightly misproportioned kangaroo pouches in which they carry their slug babies before they grow into their own and other wasted dimensions. And when even waste lost its physicality, leaving behind space junk and, likewise, junkspace to become an overall condition, they even adapted to this.

In a time beyond numbers, beyond the countable, the material becomes its own creator, using the artist to help speed up its evolution instead of other way around. These knot-like creatures here behave like elements. Fluid in their appearance, you couldn’t call them a physical body, whereas when they have something to hold on to, they become physical and resistant. The nourishing process is vice-versa. Taking energy from the light source they find, they simultaneously are the very element that provides it. And when the knot form is still confusing our view, going in chaotic spirals up and down, the actual object of interest is the light itself, or rather the electric that we should try to get into focus because meanwhile these jellies shut down the human power plants to build their own invisible energy factories in so-called art studios where vegetables become their spines and the tentacles they’ve developed connect them to their new ground, absorbing its informational consistency in order to develop legs with all their needed features.

Sam Siwe is one of these artists acting as a co-organism of the jellies. While you may still think that the artist tries to express himself here, in fact it’s the enhanced jellies who took advantage of his skills, making him build the infrastructure and their new factories where they can reproduce themselves in a new and different matter. They make him tap the wires, hack the systems, put sticky stuff on a thin skin to create a body.

This body is nice and weird enough to be considered as an art object, to become a possible sculptural edition, perhaps a series, if not a mass product flooding the art world rapidly. While spreading and flooding, the jellies can always hide behind Sam. Sam is their camouflage, an agent and worker in their production chain and maybe nothing but a tentacle growing out of their system.

The sculpture is a conditional device, a receiver for a new condition the jelly quickly adapts to, and while looking at it, the whole art world might be absorbed just to raise up soon as a whole new environment, with a mind beyond jelly, a body beyond elementary, and you need more than one kangaroo pouch in your adventure vest to be prepared for this condition.