The Crystal World Open Laboratory, July 17th-21st, 12pm-7pm, The Crystal World Salon, July 21st 8pm+, and the Opening of The Crystal World Exhibition on August 2nd at 7pm, exhibition runs August 3rd-31st 2012, at The White Building, convened by Martin Howse, Ryan Jordan, and Jonathan Kemp.
The White Building, Unit 7, Queen's Yard, 43 White Post Lane, London, E9 5EN
If life starts from aperiodic crystals that encode infinite futures within a small number of atoms, then the digital crystallization of the geo-biologic by Capital limits these futures to the point of exhaustion. Under such a pathology computers and the minerals from which they are made are considered as equally crystalline and, as such, their decrystallization is only possible through the introduction of vigorous and noisy feedback loops.
The absolute silence of the vegetation along the banks and the deep prismatic glow almost convinced him that the entire earth had been transformed and that any progress through this crystal world had become pointless.
J.G. Ballard, The Crystal World
The Crystal World Open Laboratory will explore various bi-directional decrystallizations of the digital, returning to the earth redundant electronics, the poisonous support for a synthesized dystopic world, the pure mineral. Mimicking the often dangerous processes undertaken in the extraction of rare and precious metals by the dispossessed, The Crystal World proposes to expand these world interventions through experimentation in the formation of novel crystal geologies aimed to etch unexpected psycho(geo)physical distortions and contingencies into our contemporary crystalline cycles.
Concurrent activities across the five days include mineral extraction and precipitation, biological doping (addition of impurities to engender computational properties) of substrates, construction of high heat and high voltage synthetic geologies, crystalline signal processing, speculative geophysics, anthropocenic (re-)fossilizations, and diffracted odic imaging. A final evening of presentation and live experimentation will attempt to fuse these diverse actions, culminating in the ingestion of colloidal suspensions of precious metals in an attempt to stem the contemporary plague.
The Serpent that announces, “The World is a closed thing, cyclical, resonant, eternally-returning,” is to be delivered into a system whose only aim is to violate the Cycle.
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
The Crystal World Exhibition is a cannibal-machine installation assembled from computer junk and selected minerals semi-automated (as cybernetic parody) to recursively escalate entropy through the crystalline pathologies of both raw mineral and constructed computer.
A substrate construction of bare rocks, minerals and wasted computers will host standing reservoirs of electrolytes, lab soups and leachates. Leaky feeds (hard drive spinning and piping) send chosen liquids to dope the substrate with excitable sites of precipitation and dissolution, while other liquids bathe voltaic piles and drive electrolytic (micro) doublings of metals (accretions and depletions) or auditory avalanches of actuators and oscillators (coherers and piezoelectrics). Organic cultures complement these substrate alterations with a slow investment of crypto-biologies of (semi-conducting) algae, moss, and mycelium.
Brewing these contingent substrate deformations, The Crystal World Exhibition effects a recursive cybernetic psychopathology (a culture of stolen energies) to unleash the auto-destructive powers of material interaction; the metabolism of cybernetics (finally) digests and is digested.