For Distant Sky, Rune Bering has constructed monuments of an alternative past, composed of the imprints of the physical components of our digital devices, and future fossils. Inspired by McLuhan’s work on media, Bering understands nature as an ecosystem that is infiltrated with the effects of technology. In the McLuhanesque reading, digital media affect our perception of the physical world beyond the more ephemeral nature of their transmissions. Bering has translated these effects into fossil-like imprints referencing prehistoric cultural artefacts. Like media, all lifeforms leave cues and traces for their successors to decipher.
The sculptures’ digital imprints are interspersed with butterfly fossils. The butterfly is a species that does especially well online – proliferating more profusely in stock footage banks than in actual meadows. An added stage in the butterfly’s metamorphosis has adjusted it to habitats of digital image distribution systems, where it embraces an existence as a symbol.
Bering imagines the impact of current digital media on society through an archeological lens, thus generating an imaginary temporal distance. His proposed sculptural technologies have the form of archaeological data archives. In the sculptures’ ambiguity, the absence and presence of devices and creatures suspend the messages of media in a pixelated fog of meaning against the temporal horizon of a distant sky. Like an afterglow, the three antennas, readymade sculptures emptied of their metallic and charged interiors, still transmit their message of invasive interconnectedness. Together with the lithic disks, they evoke the deep time of a fickle lifeform’s dream of permanence.
The exhibition is supported by The Danish Art Foundation, Beckett-fonden, Den Hielmstiern-Rosencroneske Stiftelse og Statens Værksteder