Polina Kanis

Adaptive Degradation

Curated by 

Adaptive Degradation

Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, Netherlands

November, 23-25, 2018

Installation. Video, HD, sound. Metal construction, objects

 This project comes as an artist’s feeling on the overview of the present state of things in political and economic slow-motion apocalypse which could be defined as the anxiety state. Adaptive degradation is a procedure, also could be described as a tool which helps improve viewport performance when you transform geometry, change the view, or play back an animation. It does so by decreasing the visual fidelity of certain objects temporarily; for example, by drawing larger objects or those closer to the camera as bounding boxes instead of wireframes. In fact, the artist uses this term in order to describe, according to the Italian autonomist Marxist thinker Franco Berardi, zones of human resistance. These zones are the places or multitudes in which people are free from their anxiety and depression, caused by the economic crisis. The way they get rid of it is the revisionism of the present capitalistic values and welfare and accepting new forms of common good and shared economy. This “healing” is close to the principles of psychotherapy as written by Deleuze and Guattari, and so Berardi claims new politics to be transformed into the “unending process of a therapy”. The main metaphor of this project can be seen in the logo on the sweatshirt of a call-center operator on the video. The animal drawn like in a medieval bestiary is going through the process of autocastration, of painful losing its usefulness for the human as written in myths where people were killing animals because of musk produced with animal testicles, and in general becomes a symbol of a heroic escape from the present stressful and depressive capitalistic society by becoming useless for this society, by not giving it the energy produced by the body even through the painful procedure. The operator on the video is a coach who trains people to step into this zone of resistance, to quit the anxiety state and to be weak enough for the society to lose you from its radar. This work is an attempt to document the process of understanding the necessity of this autocastration and of the beginning of entering the calm chamber with leaving all behind.

Viewing Room


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