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'ZINE #06


November 2017

As artists extend the field of self-examination into augmented spaces, virtual spaces, producing potential new selves along the way as 'indexes' or placeholders for self-referentiality, it is the suggestion of the extended self - of a cyber-portraiture - which is the focus of this month's curated content.

We are honored to present a close-up view of two artist-performers whose dedicated practice explores the territorial boundaries of the body as field of inquiry. Prolific US filmmaker Sylvia Toy St.Louis opens a window onto the bounty of her relentless self-study in a double-bill of works, from her speculative performance/video-invocation of a primordial human ancestor in The Projection Room, contrasted against a personal Facebook post presented in the #Strategies art writing project. The extraordinary world of Italian artist Francesca Fini returns to The Unstitute this month in the UN[dis]criminate encampment with a live-action translation of the artist's skin into digital output, rendering obsolete the performance of gender and race, revealing new landscapes of the body.

The Unstitute is a temporary solution...


Lucy The First Human

15/11/17 - 15/12/17

In The Projection Room this month we are extremely proud to present our premiere offering from prolific US video artist Sylvia Toy St.Louis. With a wide-ranging career beginning in the early 1980's, video was discovered in 2006 to reveal an unparalleled source of creativity by the artist, whose extended meditations on self-portraiture, examinations of form and character, a complete microscopy of self-appearance. 'Lucy the First Human' exerts its flex through the relentless focus on small movements, the biting of a thumb, scratching, identifying, dissociating - the forming of a unified experience from the flows and currents of primordial determinism.

"Lucy the First Human is a short silent film with only one character, Lucy, inspired by the Australopithecus Afarensis female skeleton discovered by Donald Johanson and his team in 1974 and named "Lucy" after The Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." The episodic scenes of this little movie show what the first human would do, think, feel, and how it would develop. Lucy is like an infant who spends most of her time sleeping in a nebulous void. In her waking hours, her primary interest is herself until her environment changes as things suddenly and surrealistically appear in her 'cave.' She gradually is drawn out of her self-absorption into the real world."
Sylvia Toy St. Louis



Skin / Tones

This month the UN[dis]criminate encampment welcomes the return of the formidable Italian performance artist Francesca Fini with her excellent hybrid work SKIN/TONES. Pushing identity politics out of the view of the microscope, the skin and its colour-output interpretations open any number of new points of departure for the artist to augment the physical appearance of the body through digital process.

"This video is the output of Francesca Fini's performance SKIN / TONES. During the live performance she scans her body with a digital microscope. The custom software created with Isadora, then calculates the average color of each segment of skin, transforming the data flow into generative live sound and video (the different sounds and samplings blend and mix exactly according to the mix of red, green and blue, that is, the RGB code that is recorded in real-time by the microscope). The visuals are the result of the image coming from the microscope, processed into mesmerizing kaleidoscopic renderings, turning even the smallest imperfection into live art. Scars, wounds, benign melanomas, wrinkles and stretch marks become mandala, crystals, jewels."
Francesca Fini



Artists' Life 2.0

The latest addition to our art writing series #Strategies comes from this month's feature artist Sylvia Toy St.Louis. With striking simplicity St.Louis articulates the collected experiences of her ongoing voyage into art from the perspective of continued curiosity into form, sound and the practice of creation itself, a conversation had by the artist with herself across the span of her lifetime.

"When it first occurred to me to make moving art in 2006, I barely knew how to use a camera. Everyone except my mother thought I was delusional. Most of the people I'd known in the artworld had no idea how many movies I've seen. I called them "sewing movies" because I watched them while making my own clothes as a kid. As a freshman in college I got hooked on New Wave and though it took 40 years for me to really and truly get back to movies by making them myself, when I discovered New Wave, I knew who I was and how I wanted to be in the world." Sylvia Toy St.Louis
Sylvia Toy St. Louis



The Unstitute presents...

15/11/17 - 15/12/17

From the cutting room floor this month we present further episodes from the mundane psychedelia of would-be avatar Jim Broadband and his complex relationship with his doctor who is maybe a doctor. In an effort to discover the source of his pain, Broadband discovers it to be part of the landscape itself, and there's no cure for that.

“I got this pain, see. Right here - down here, in the landscape. I tried to get rid of it - course I tried to get rid of it - god knows I tried to get rid of it. But you can’t get rid of yourself, can you?"
Jim Broadband



By The Unstitute...
That Far Country

The New Town project employs artistic inquiries into daily life to penetrate the everyday quality of existence in this place - an effort which in part is used to help accept that the world cannot, should not and will not conform to the ideas we have about our experience of it. But no doubt, such distortions do arise. It is no surprise then to find New Town only partially visible, inadequately described, exaggerated or poorly lit - much like a lonely street at night, or the dream of one; a report of nothing happening somewhere.

"Sometimes I just wander lonely in the streets with my head bent down in the gutter because maybe it's down there I’ll find my true nature. The way I see it, the path to not caring in some way begins down in the gutter, or at least passes through the gutter on its way elsewhere, to somewhere far off and unseen, some great below. I feel better in myself somehow, down amongst the particles of waste drifting along the path of least resistance, where nothing is expected of anything any more. It is a beautiful place..." Ethel Alcohol



Nina Isabelle
Latitude 41.924389 Longitude -74.061128

This month's addition to the postindustrial architectures of the Vidiot project provides an alternative window to open in your browser, offering a minute's respite to gaze absentmindedly...

The Unstitute is an excavation without windows. The Vidiot Windows project connects windows from around the world through which visitors can look out onto different everyday scenes through their browser window, collapsing frames of space and segments of time into a room constructed entirely from looking panes.


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