First off. I know this particular blog post is late. This exhibit happened all the way back in Jan. 6 to February 10th, 2018. Why am I posting about this now? This year is halfway over. Fall is already around the corner. Guess I’m getting 2018 out of the way.
As a huge fan of the RE/Search book series, I discovered bands, underground personalities, subcultures, tattooing, occultism, tribal culture, strange films, sado-masochism, subversive literature, etc. RE/Search had a huge influence on me during my late teens and early 20s. It was through one of the RE/Search titles, ‘Industrial Culture Handbook‘. It was purchased at the zine shop See/Hear maybe sometime back in 1990 or 1992. That’s when I first read about Mark Pauline. (You can read about See/Hear in this post. Better yet, now you can download the PDF version from this site, although I strongly encourage you to purchase the book.)
Mark Pauline is the founder, director and member of Survival Research Laboratories. SRL for short. He specializes in creating confrontational industrial mechanics. The robotic movements of these creations could be considered performance art, even if occasionally unpredictable. In January 2018, the Marlborough Contemporary gallery located in Chelsea, NYC showcased his work. As stated in a press release: “…is pleased (and slightly nervous) to present Inconsiderate Fantasies of Negative Acceleration Characterized by Sacrifices of a Non-Consensual Nature by the legendary Survival Research Laboratories. The exhibition, the first solo presentation by SRL in a commercial gallery, comprises eight kinetic sculptures dating from 1986 to the present, along with video documentation of past performances in which these machines were engaged.”
I’ve always wanted to witness an SLR event. After all these years here was my chance.
The opening event took place on a sub-zero freezing Saturday night. The exhibit was part retrospective, part demonstrative. There was a robot moving around directionless in one area. Another machine featuring decaying animal corpses spun the carcasses inside the transparent globes
Here’s a YouTube clip I complied from all the smartphone footage filmed from opening night. I was experimenting with some free video maker, so you’ll have to excuse the cheesy soundtrack.
Here’s a more professional video of SRL/Mark Pauline demostrating these machines:
Some more articles about Mark Pauline and SRL:
All photos by Michele Witchipoo unless otherwise stated.