Cell Project Space presents ‘Praseodymium Intracrine Signal Aggregate’, the ninth instalment of Iain Ball’s Rare Earth Sculpture series. Intracrine refers to a hormone that acts inside of a cell, regulating intracellular events. Steroid hormones act through intracellular (mostly nuclear) receptors and, thus, may be considered to be intracrines. The biological effects produced by intracellular actions are referred as intracrine effects.
Praseodymium is a newly commissioned sculptural work, which considers the metaphorical intracrine effects of paranoia as a tropological social agent, which is constantly acting upon and shaping the environment. Inside Ball’s narrative the project posits a psychotechnical artifact, which continuously transmutes anxiety, fear, irrationality, delusions and superstition irrespective of political, scientific, social and economic breakthrough and reformation. Presenting itself under the label of the Rare Earth Element Praseodymium, the object harvests these energies, which it transmits as a signal radiating from inside Cell Project Space. Praseodymium is part of Ball’s collective framework of ideas, which is driven by well-documented neo-liberal anxieties about technological advancement and it’s ability to shape political and social views.
The artist deliberately posits major historical crisis events as a trigger for unforeseen societal change and an additional source for his Rare Earth series. Disease and pestilence in the dark ages, and the cataclysmic effects of tyrannical ancient regimes are all sited alongside recent fears about the climatic and environmental effects of bio-chemical industries and corporate mining operations; a provocation of a chain of events that have changed the political and social landscape as turmoil reflects in all aspects of life, shifting territorial boundaries and fragile political balances. Ball proposes that ‘Praseodymium Intracrine Signal Aggregate’ acts as a reforming agent after the collapse of belief systems, when traditional, intellectual and scientific systems are broken, drawing our imagination into supernatural phenomena, such as monsters and alien abductions.
Presenting three main elements for the exhibition, two of which are sculptural and one, which is generated as an online theme running across the existing Rare Earth series. Ball attempts to restrict physical access to the work itself. The online platform supports the omnipresent narrative and speculative claims about the origins of Ball’s work intensifying questions about its source and function by adopting a polish and sheen ubiquitous of hi-tech corporate fabrication and design techniques. Viewers’ expectations are thwarted by a covert presentation of work generating hypothesis that contradicts our prevailing understanding of real physical events or fact.