Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
- William Butler Yeats
The Second Coming
But when things fall apart we dust ourselves off and put ourselves back together again, albeit in a reconfigured manner. Experience reduced, translated, and re-amplified attains a state of singularity. Collision 19: COmpress/DECompress takes its name from a process which echoes these phases. CODECs encode and decode a digital signal, changing and changing again the bits that make up an image or a sound, in an act, ultimately, transformative of both signal and material.
In the works presented by the show’s 22 artists time and space are simplified and restructured: words stripped from soundtracks, minutes from hours, sounds teased from surrogate pulsars. William Tremblay’s head is reduced to a set of numbered planes; a QR code rematerializes a famous sculpture but with conceptual twist. This rematerializing occurs again and again. Burgeoning relationships are analysed by strangers and adjusted on command (or terminated). Paradigms of critical thinking in art and science are probed, and boundaries expanded and re-drawn; technological flaws are exposed and exploited. Humor plays a role. A duel becomes a thing of wonder.
Ultimately all the pieces are things of wonder, demonstrating that with the act of making comes recohesion and healing. Two days after the Marathon bombings Collision 19 artist Jim Rolland posted this message on the Collision blog: “I hope you and all of your relatives are safe! I address you my best friendship from France.”