Viriditas (In the Future Perfect)

An AV Performance-Lecture by Jol Thomson

With audio contributions from Julian Weaver

Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 7pm

5-8pm: Closing reception for Logics of Sense 1: Investigations

 

A FREE shuttle bus departs at 5:30pm from Mercer Union (1286 Bloor St W, Toronto) and returns downtown at 8:30pm.

Image courtesy Jol Thomson.
Information

Viriditas (In the Future Perfect)
An AV Performance-Lecture by Jol Thomson
With audio contributions from Julian Weaver
Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 7pm (20 minutes)

Alongside a closing reception for Logics of Sense 1: Investigations, 5-8pm

Fusion is a promised type of nuclear-plasma energy that is nearly without any waste products. It essentially entails building a miniature star on earth with a heat of approximately 150 million degrees and containing it within powerful magnetic shields. Engineers and physicists have been working on the wicked problems of fusion energy for approximately eighty years now. Despite international multi-billion dollar mega-projects to develop viable fusion energy, it remains thirty, fifty, or even 100 years away—at best. The struggle and drive to attain such a source of clean nuclear power leads skilled and disciplined people from all across the globe to labour for events and infrastructures that they will likely never get to see through to completion, reminding us perhaps of the conviction of medieval cathedral builders, who laboured on projects whose durations were also measured in centuries.

There is an undoubtable link between plasma physics and religion, or between rationality and the ineffable: that which cannot be measured or spoken and which in fact resists these acts.  Speaking through the origin of physics’ alchemical/religious histories into a possible future with fusion reactors powering fifteen percent of the planet’s energy needs, Thomson plays with and attends to the hierarchies of knowledge and reality that are fundamental to these disciplines’ traditions, desires, and expectations, perhaps revealing a non-linear chronometry that can transform and renew contemporary modes of logic and sense. 

This performance lecture is the partial outcome of research and fieldwork into the state of European fusion energy with sound artist Julian Weaver, a commission awarded by the Royal Holloway Centre for the GeoHumanities’ Creating Earth Futures commission, 2018. The artists travelled for research and fieldwork to the Joint European Tokamak (JET) facilities in the UK and to the multi-billion dollar, global partner construction site of the International Thermonuclear Energy Research (ITER) site in Marseille, France.

Transportation

A FREE shuttle bus departs at 5:30pm from Mercer Union (1286 Bloor St W, Toronto) and returns downtown at 8:30pm.

Artist Biography

Jol Thomson is an artist, sound designer, and researcher interested in the potential to bypass dominant Western rationality through critical engagements with the matter(s) and meanings of contemporary (particle) physics. Thomson completed his HBA at the University of Toronto in 2009 and received his meisterschüler in Fine Art from Professor Simon Starling at the Städelschule, Frankfurt aM in 2013. He was recently awarded an international studentship to pursue a practice-based PhD at the University of Westminster in London, where he is currently based. Between 2014–2016 he developed and taught an experimental interdisciplinary arts pedagogy for architects with artist Tomás Saraceno at the Technical University of Braunschweig in Germany. In 2016 he won the MERU Art*Science Award for his audio-visual composition G24|0vßß. That year he was a fellow of the Akademie Schloss Solitude and in 2017 he was a resident of the Bosch GmbH’s Centre for Research and Advanced Engineering, Stuttgart. Recent screenings and selected exhibitions include Recontres Internationales: Contemporary Moving Image, Pompidou, Paris and HKW, Berlin (2019);at Quantum Real: Spectral Exchange, Exhibition Research Lab, Liverpool (2019); Galleria d’Arte Moderne e Contemporanea, Bergamo (2019); Blind Faith: Between the Cognitive and the Visceral in Contemporary Art at the Haus Der Kunst, Munich (2018); Open Codes: Living in Digital Worlds, ZKM (Center for Art and Technology), Karlsruhe (2017-2018). In 2017 he published Intra-acting With the IceCube Neutrino Observatory; or, how the technosphere may come to matter, with Dr. Sasha Engelmann in a special issue of the Anthropocene Review.

Acknowledgments

The Blackwood Gallery gratefully acknowledges the operating support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the University of Toronto Mississauga. Additional support is provided by the Department of Visual Studies (UTM) through the Graduate Expansion Fund.

Related Exhibition

Logics of Sense 1: Investigations
September 4-October 19, 2019