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The Glass Veil: Seven Adventures in Wonderland

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Suzanne Anker and Sabine Flach

In this collaborative work between artist and theorist Suzanne Anker and art historian Sabine Flach, the study of image production unveils the reality of pictures beyond their function as mere representations of the world. The visuals range from firsthand accounts of specimen collections in historical medical museums, to scientific research laboratories, to studies of plant propagation, among other themes concerning life forms and Bio Art. Focusing on systems of artistic knowledge, the authors demonstrate how context, scale and framing devices alter meaning in pictorial systems. Somatic responses, classification networks and image banks are explored as they relate to intersections in visual art and the biological sciences.
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Synthetic Abandon: Suzanne Anker

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SUZANNE ANKER

If nature represents a principle of economy, then culture surely must exemplify the principle of innovation through excess. When habits consume us, when our devotion to them exceeds the culturally defined norms, we label them as obsessions.

Terence McKenna

For the automaton, to have a life of one’s own is to be driven by a program…as each disk is implanted the robotic machine performs its act sans doubt or ambivalence. As an apparatus, the device appears as a body in the realm of control, a harmonious constituent, singular within its mechanism. Automatic behavior in an individual, however, interlopes with the obsessional: “The girl just can’t help it,” “Only one more time,” “I’ll stop tomorrow,” “Just a little while longer.” Sensory excess, memory and techno-mythic dreams create the signals from which obsession takes its cue, engineering programs of preoccupied will, advancing as a series of short circuits. Desire, fulfilling mastermind dreams, not unlike automata, is a drive stimulated by reason, while behaving as a harbinger of delight mixed with deceit. Desire brings with it post-mechanical intoxicants and the necessary injection of subliminal and physical avowals.

Injection, subjection, obsession, excess… terms of technology, terms of addiction. Pleasure centers, signals, receptors, cortical spasms, endorphins, metabolites, stimulants, depressants, rhapsodics, inhalants… ringers for the high… the fix… the orgasmic engagement with encoded Dionysian markers. If violence is a necessity to nature, is ferocity inherent to natural form? And what about the power of the...

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