Degenerative Imaging in the Dark
Jeremy Shaw works in a variety of media to explore altered states and the
cultural and scientific practices that aspire to map transcendental experience. Often combining and amplifying strategies from the realms of conceptual art, ethnographic film, music video, mystical and scientific research, Shaw
proposes a post-documentary space in which disparate ideals, belief-systems and narration are put into crisis.
For his exhibition at LambdaLambdaLambda, Shaw presents “Degenerative Imaging in the Dark” – a series of light-activated, glow-in-the-dark vinyl
cut-outs made in reference to commercially produced star and planet stickers. Rather than the cosmos, the artist’s source material comes from 3D SPECT scan renderings of the degenerative effects of mind-altering substance use on the blood flow and metabolism of the human brain. The representational
language of neuroscience, or at least the populist aesthetic familiar in health and pharmaceutical advertising, is reformatted here as a mechanism to
enhance altered states while viewing their supposed biological effects on the brain.
The prints are charged by fluorescent light once every 30 minutes, causing them to glow strongly and slowly fade, glow and fade; static time-based
mediums on repeat.
Also on view is the most current version of “This Transition Will Never End” (2008 – present) – Shaw’s ongoing archive of appropriated footage taken from a wide variety of movies and television in which a vortex, or any such tunnel-like or spiraling image, is used to represent the slippage of time or a transition from one reality to another. This constantly updated work serves as a
catalogue of the varying styles and techniques used to create this
commonplace depiction of the ubiquitous phenomenon that remains impossible to document.