Saturday, August 18, 2012
Photographer: Lorenzo Oggiano
Posted by Harry Warwick
Lorenzo Oggiano’s project ‘Quasi-Objects’ is esoteric but fascinating. If you read the description to this work on Oggiano’s website, you will notice that, although he describes his task in quite specific scientific and philosophical language, its exact nature and direction remain open to interpretation. This work sits in a largely untested region, where art and science begin to overlap, where both subjective and objective study are equally acceptable epistemic modes.
‘Life is a real and autonomous process independent from any specific material manifestation.’ This is the quotation that Oggiano uses to accompany these images. I am not entirely confident in my interpretation, but the artist’s view seems to be that life—which is not a static, abstract concept, but a developing quality—exists irretrievably outside of the tangible world. It’s a description that hints at the spiritual and hence makes the juxtaposition of this language with scientific terminology even more provocative.
According to Oggiano, ‘“Quasi-Objects” regards data actualization, the production of biologically non-functional organisms and ecosystems, as transient output of an operative practice: the aesthetics of process.’ In this conception, aesthetics is posited as necessarily diachronic, perpetually changing, which is perhaps a challenge to the prevailing view that art falls into discrete eras, each with distinguishable features or conventions. For Oggiano, aesthetics is fluid and dynamic, and its constituent works capture only brief moments of this continuous process.
To determine exactly how the images themselves fit into his framework will require a strained interpretive effort. There appears to be at least a co-existence of the mathematical and the formal. One way of imagining the production of these images is to conceive of them as the graphic representation of numerical values. But equally there is something random and organic about these shapes. There are few definite features in which to ground one’s analysis. But therein, I suppose, lies the attraction.