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Mining Serendipity

Taus Makhacheva

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  • Description  
  • Set of body-oriented artefacts  
  • Dimensions  
  • Chain: 47 cm / wooden box: 11 x 17 x 7 cm  
  • Materials  
  • Brass, glass, gold, black porcelain  
  • Edition  
  • Unlimited, unsigned, numbered edition  
  • Year  
  • 2020  

“A set of seven artefacts represents the potentialities associated with new ways of co-existing in the world. The work draws upon ideas proposed by Soviet futurologists during the 1971 Sochi conference on psychotechnics, now re-imagined by Taus Makhacheva. (…)

During her research, Makhacheva found that the ideas discussed back in the Soviet years are not too dissimilar to the visions stretching from as far back as mediaeval times, when numerous nuns had similar epiphanies independently of each other, or to contemporary theories of collectivity such as Rupert Sheldrake’s ‘morphic resonance’ — except for the fact that they implied a state-imposed magic wand. (…)

Some of the artefacts stand for powers invoked by Makhacheva; for example, HSBM (Highly Superior Biographical Memory) as an empathetic ability to focus on the biographies of people and objects, and RS (Remote Synaesthesia) as a soft skill standing for non-haptic communication. These may be particularly relevant during times of increased distancing.

The chain and accompanying pieces designed in collaboration with the Moscow based studio, Mineral Weather represent these interconnected ideas, comprising an extrasensory toolkit that projects new modes of sporadic and serendipitous collectivity. The set includes a sectional case and is fully dismountable. The irregularly-shaped, segmented chain connecting the lockets resembles a swarm of stick insects mimicking the colour of shiny brass, and can be assembled in any possible combination.”

Text (fragment): Andrey Efits
Jewelry design: Alexander Olkhovsky and Anna Pavlova I Mineral Weather
Photographer: Daria Globina

Commissioned by Frans Masereel Centrum, as part of the offline and offsite group project Solitude (Fall-Winter 2020/2011).

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