Until the late 1800s, it was believed that crystals, rocks and metal grew underground like organic matter. An understanding of sediment compression came later. Now that humans are geological forces, we can be compared to the glacier that carves the valley, or the volcano that births the mountain. In this logic, the screen is the evolutionary conclusion of the rock: coltan from the Congo, glass made of sand, plastics from plankton. So what does that make the digital moving image? The magical conjuring of data is inseparable from the material. This text as you read it is copper, zinc, alloy, bedrock, and rubber. It is palpable all the way through. The digital image has a past, present, and future in the economy of minerals and molecules that move the Earth. The 3D render, a momentary wave and break of planetary deep time.
This exhibition includes three new video installations that explore digital media as part of a greater natural ecology. In Upper_Sea, King traces the Transhumanist Movement’s desire (to emancipate consciousness from human bodies into digital technology) as an attempt to enter the timespan of minerals and stones. In All My Friends Are In The Cloud, King reflects upon our experience of personal impermanence and intimacy in the information age.
Much of this work was derived from conversations with physicists in the field of Complex Systems/ Emergence Theory. They posit that the movement and habitation of humans and animals on land resembles (and can be predicted via) the charting of specific molecules in their different elemental states.
Jonah King’s films and video installations repurpose distinctions between digital and mineral, body and ecology, simulation and deep time. King weaves fictional and true accounts through constellations of moving images generated in the studio, with actors, or in collaboration with community groups. By invoking speculative narratives of envisioned utopias and apocalyptic dreams, they question what it means to be human in an increasingly digitized ecology.