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Alexandre Dorriz – Consciousness is Code in the Occidental Vacuum

October 11, 2019 - October 13, 2019

Opening Friday October 11th 7-10pm

On view Saturday 10/12 and Sunday 10/13 12—6pm


Consciousness is Code in the Occidental Vacuum is part of an ongoing investigation of fiber and its relations to time, memory, and optics through museology and dramaturgy practices. Dorriz works with the historical discovery of synthetic and semi-synthetic fibers, and their respective chemical and organic compositions and applications in order to interpret various fibers through rhetorical lens and optical-based systems. By looking at the properties of silkworm fiber as raw protein, Dorriz interprets the accumulation of woven amyloid fibrils in the brain which are known to cause Alzheimer’s disease through the accidental discovery of rayon (“artificial silk”) by a French chemist’s work in a darkroom. There, there remain chemical congruences in French chemical company DuPont’s (Dow Chemical) first patents for nylon (PA-66) and the company’s concurrent development of Panchromatic Negative Film cellulose (nitrocellulose) and non-cellulosic bases and emulsions. Using new cuneiforms to interpret optical memory through these empirical findings, Dorriz works with optical agents, chemicals such as film developers and fixers and a noxious plant, Syrian rue (esfand), historically used to ward off evil eyes in family homes, as well as producing the dyes for carpets responsible for hallucinations occurring in weaving circles, which has led to the expression, ‘magic carpet.’

During the three day installation, Dorriz triangulates these rhetorical fiber exercises through dialogical and dramaturgical interpretations of a 1975 Richard Tuttle exhibition curated by Marcia Tucker at the Whitney Museum of American Art. While Tuttle’s postminimal bodies of work would lead to strong negative reviews of the exhibition and question Tucker’s curatorial expertise by critics, Dorriz looks to Tuttle’s fiber work, “Ten Kinds of Memory and Memory Itself” (1973) presented in Tuttle’s first of three rotating installations for the exhibition, as a retrocausal lens into the events following the exhibition. Tom Armstrong, then museum director of the Whitney, would seem to be coerced by critics, boardmembers, and trustees into the wrongful termination of Marcia Tucker’s employment following the Tuttle exhibition; where, Tucker would subsequently found The New Museum in 1977.

1. Blanc, Paul David. Fake Silk: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon. New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2016.
2. “Our History | DuPont.” DuPont. DuPont, n.d. https://www.dupont.com/about/our-history.html.
3. Whitney firing, 1976 + Corres.; Marcia Tucker Papers; Getty Research Institute Special Collections; (Box 3, File 20; 1976)

Image: Robert Fludd, Ars Memoriae, 1619


October 11, 2019
October 13, 2019
Event Category:


Human Resources LA
410 Cottage Home
Los Angeles, CA 90012