”A beaver’s DNA doesn’t stop expressing itself at the end of its whiskers, but at the edge ofits dam,” writes the ecological theorist Timothy Morton. What if the physics of entropy were sliding between humans and objects as pure inertia? What if an engine’s exhaust pipe- the part that directs smoke from the guts of the car to the outside- as a piece of engineering owes its nature to an organic order imprinted on the entrails of its creator? What is the relationship between a glottis and a meander, between a city and a puddle?
In the context of this second solo exhibition by Carlos Irijalba with the gallery, the endotic points to the interrelations between the human being and his environment. There is no difference between human and nature, between inside and outside. Language separates us but the exotic is within ourselves.
Like the objects and structures that we produce, an important part of our constitution, as multicellular mammals, is formed by carbon.
These objects carry with them biological designs that we can interpret as unconscious secretions, or unformed traces, that are uid and open to unforeseen evolution. Genetic material duplicates and mutates not only at the biological level, but also within the strategies and tools with which we, consciously, shape a new landscape.
These parallel dynamics are not obvious; they happen at different rhythms and scales. This exhibition highlights the convergence of those dissonances as a means to approach the transitory states of matter. We observe the solid, liquid, and gaseous states as relative and symptomatic of the heterogeneous interrelations between what’s tangible or intangible, fertile or sterile, and the blurry lines between what is animate and what is inert.
The Hawaiian term pahoehoe means “smooth lava” in its solid state, and it entails the most abstract and visually explicit manifestation of the Earth’s core’s material reaction in the face of a sudden contrast in temperature.
Pahohoe is matter’s most spontaneous expression and the most immediate visualization of the chemical reactions that comprise it. The characteristic behavior of lava illustrates, at both micro and macro levels, processes that pertain to elds like meteorology, linguistics, economy, and genetics, where properties that are equally creative and destructive are made visible. When pahoehoe nally cools and crystallizes, it displays a strange quality of frozen time. As the philosopher Reza Negarestani says, lava makes evident “decomposition as a constructive process.” The simultaneous destruction and creation of territory in Hawaii and its repetitive pattern reveal the grammatology of our planet and how the surface of this system that we inhabit is coded.
Strange stranger explores the biomimetic patterns visible in the industrial processes that replicate structures inscribed in our evolutionary trace.
We witness phenomenological echoes in the objects that we fabricate, but how far is a cell from the tissue that it makes up? We label these qualities as inert, but in fact they belong to our own nature, even if we are not conscious of it. To call this relationship biomimesis proves to be limiting and reductionist. The reference
is not exogenous, but endogenous. Our actions and productions appeal to the endotic, and this makes us responsible for the spaces that these objects occupy, the functions they perform, the time they last and the trace they leave behind.
Metal foam has the same structure as human bone and was invented for its use in human prosthetics. At rst, the medical sector tried to utilize this new material to improve the quality of human life, but before that could happen the automotive and aerospace industries adapted it for their own use. This serves to underline how these industries, which are con gured as aggressive commercial vectors, assimilate a material initially created from humanist ideals.
The appearance of a new material provokes a reaction within the industrial organism, a kind of catalyst. Here, a metabolism that pursues economic bene t synthesizes material applications in the same way that our body processes sugar.
presents a study on human intervention, a kind of pole vault in time between locus and technè. The Chauvet cave paintings were made 32.000 years ago in the Monts d’Ardeche region in France and discovered by speleologists in 1994. The cave was closed to the public shortly afterwards for preservation and study. The only material contribution that modern humans made to this environment is a scaffolding footbridge to protect the interior of the cave from germs and bacteria.
In collaboration with Atelier Phenomenes in Paris (the company commissioned by the French government in
2016 to make a replica of the Chauvet Cave ́s natural dynamics), Irijalba created a projection of what will happen
to this footbridge 32.000 years form now, when rimstone dams (stalagmite-like horizontal calcareous deposits) have assimilated the structure, in turn becoming a time continuum.