V_br^nt* m^tt3r* ed.I / 2021 - ongoing

The work explores how we relate to the material world mediated by consumer electronics, our bodies and capital through the lens of liquid crystals

V_br ⃤ nt*  m ⃤ tt3r* ed.I is an installation that houses the spirits inhibiting the quotidian places, bodies and things that in one way or another contain liquid crystals - a state of matter that simultaneously shares properties of liquids and solid crystals.

In 1888 Otto Lehmann, physicist with keen interest in microscopes, was approached by Friedrich Reinitzer for help to examine the features of derivatives of cholesterol that he had come across.

‘A substance whose crystals could be regarded as in a state of flow from direct observations, yet did not disintegrate and reform, but rather maintained their internal correlation under constant deformation in the same manner as do amorphous and liquid bodies’, Lehmann described in the article “On Flowing Crystals” written for Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie in 1889.

It is not surprising then that ascribing vibrancy to crystals through either their physical and chemical properties or metaphysical qualities have crystallized different vectors of progress, fuelling the production of consumer electronics and their parts, including liquid crystal displays (LCD). Thus fulfilling the O. Lehman’s hope of accessing new sources of energy through liquid crystals one day.

Installation V_br ⃤ nt*  m ⃤ tt3r* ed.I consists of six portals resembling a switched off LCD screen and stones made of recycled PETE, each representing a micro-history  - an important landmark describing our relationship to the material technologies. Moments once liquefied and frozen for now - exhumation, modernity, body, production line, commodity, and re-crystallization - are lined up on the translucent surfaces.

The material representation not only acknowledges the reality of crystals enabling everyday technologies - processes often embodying deeply unethical material realities - but also the phenomena of crystals supposedly countering the negative effects of the same technologies.

The infinite number of narratives encoded within the material and techno-spiritual gestures. Or to echo Zygmunt Bauman’s “passage from the ‘solid’ to a ‘liquid phase’ of modernity: that is, into a condition in which social forms can no longer keep their shape for long, because they decompose and melt faster than the time it takes to cast them, and once they are cast for them to set”.