origin – ::::::: – uppruni
The colonial era's exploitation of natural resources has pushed ecosystems to the brink. This situation raises questions about a potential future in which we terraform Earth as if it were an alien planet, intertwining nature with technological advancement. The exhibition origin – ::::::: – uppruni presents a version of a common toy found in institutional waiting rooms. This toy, consisting of wooden blocks that can be moved along wires, aims to enhance hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness while fostering exploration of cause-and-effect relationships. In this exhibition, however, the toy takes on new meaning. It is displayed as a rudimentary machine emphasizing gravitational force and mobility. Instead of wooden blocks, visitors will find sculpted units made from industrially produced salt stone intended for animal consumption. Animals have long sought out mineral-rich earth to lick for essential salts and minerals; their paths became trails used by early humans—trails that eventually evolved into roads forming civilization's infrastructure. The artwork revises this civilization, with the sculpted salt stones resembling light flesh-toned units or flaps of skin within the machine structure. The industrially produced salt stones are mainly produced with such a color tone. As technology advances alongside artificial intelligence, deep-seated racial inequalities rooted in colonial times seem poised to transfer into digital media where skin boundaries take shape through programming based on historical human knowledge. This work aims not only to reshape but also enhance our eye-hand coordination beyond our current understandings of the world.
Alongside the piece is a contribution by April Dobbins in text and performance where she has a conversation with the piece about these reflections. Please find the audio recording of the performed text, the text itself and a longer version here: https://originuppruni.cargo.site/
The exhibition is funded by Icelandic Visual Arts Fund and Reykjavík City.