Eva & Franco Mattes, Half Cat, 2020. Photo by Melania Dalle Grave and Piercarlo Quecchia for DSL Studio
Eva e Franco Mattes
Half-Cat, a copy in motion
An oversized self replicating animated 3D installation living in Spatial, based on Half Cat – a meme inspired taxidermy sculpture. A project on the tension between exhibition value and cult value.
Eva & Franco Mattes, Untitled (Yellow Tray), 2021. Photo by Melania Dalle Grave and Piercarlo Quecchia for DSL Studio
Project Description
Half Cat - A Copy In Motion No other images are shared and circulated online as often as those of cats, the furry favorites of the internet. Half Cat (2020) refers to so-called LOLCat memes - a social practice in which cat pictures are shared millions of times on the internet. It is based on the digitally altered image of a cat with two legs and no ears walking down a street, which began circulating online in 2010. Half Cat can be seen as a metaphor par excellence of the networked image - for copies of images that are constantly on the move and constantly manipulated. Like Hito Steyerl points out in her seminal essay In Defense of the Poor Image “the poor image is a copy in motion”. What makes network images so relevant today is their ability to generate endless variations that circulate in different contexts. They are images that travel to you and me, that are meant to be used rather than looked at. Wandering 3D Half Cat For this project we will produce a 3D version of Half Cat, through scanning, and we’ll bring it into Spatial as an oversized animated installation. This time, the sculpture will move and wander around the venue. Its excessively large scale, though, will make its 3D shape merge with the surrounding architecture, intersecting with walls and ceilings, creating unexpected glitches. Self-replicating The sculpture will be programmed in a way that by touching it visitors will receive their own 3D version of it, generated with a unique random color. It will also give people the permission to be reused. It could be placed in different sites within Spatial or other metaverses. It could become a profile picture on a phone, be used to create a videogame character, a virtual pet, or it could just appear walking undisturbed in the background next time you are looking an enderman directly in its purple eyes in Minecraft. Scaling up, scaling down While the installation of the 3D work on Spacial is exaggeratedly large, the 1:1 taxidermy sculpture will indeed feel incredibly tiny in the OGR Duomo. Like Alice in Wonderland must master the properties of the mushroom to gain control over her fluctuating size, Half Cat fights the bodily frustrations that accompany shifts in resolution. Dispersione digitale Half Cat - A copy in motion is a project on the tension between exhibition value and cult value, about digital dispersion and the importance of the commons in an increasingly corporate internet.
About the artist
Eva & Franco Mattes are an Italian artist duo living in New York. They were among the first artists to use the internet as a medium to create art. Through videos, installations and websites, their work responds to and dissects our contemporary networked condition, always approaching the ethics and politics of life online with a darkly humorous edge. Their works can be found in the collections of the SFMOMA, Whitney Museum of American Art, Fotomuseum Winterthur, X Museum and the Walker Art Center. Their largest solo exhibition to date is scheduled to open in July 2023 at Frankfurter Kunstverein.
A project by
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