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“Nowhere A Shadow” [2013]

Revital COHEN & Tuur VAN BALEN


“The Immortal” consists of several machines connected to each other by tubes. Although all these machines are medical devices made for the purpose of supplementing the functions of the human body, here a heart-lung machine, a mechanical ventilator, a dialysis machine, an infant incubator, a Cell Saver (intraoperative blood salvage device), an oxygenator, an ECG monitor and other instruments are hooked up without human involvement. Together they make up what looks like one autonomous living system that engages in the “organic activity” of circulating air and salt water (instead of blood), accompanied by the sound of the machines.

“Nowhere A Shadow” shows a wolf walking around in blueberry trees. The setup includes infrared surveillance cameras that capture the scene, powered by electricity generated by the filmed object itself as it walks between the trees. By transmitting the footage around the globe, the artists hope to raise viewers’ awareness and sympathy for the wolf, an animal on the edge of extinction. Another part of the design is a metal structure that supplies the blueberries with nutrients to prevent rabies, by which a symbiotic relationship between animals, plants, artifacts, and humans observing the scenery from the outside is established.

When we speak of “untouched nature,” the high esteem of a state untouched by human hands that this expression hints at certainly reflects the Western concept of man and nature as opposing elements. The two works featured here show from different angles how the boundary between man and nature can change depending on such factors as subject and situation.



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