LAS Online

An Ongoing Series of Artists’ Interventions

Nkisi / Melika Ngombe Kolongo, Orb, 2020.
Image courtesy of the artist (sound composition & film).
Images generated with space simulator software.

As part of LAS’ commitment to digital technologies, artists have been invited to conceive an online intervention to be featured on its website. Reinforcing the idea that the LAS website is a platform beyond information resources, each experience through the lens of the artist will tackle topics ranging from sustainability to biotechnology to outer space. These engaging interventions also act as teasers and introductions to each artist’s work. This series features, amongst others, Jenna Sutela who translates the movement of bacteria into a Martian tongue language; Meriem Bennani comments on Western Immigration policies by imagining a near-future scenario that includes crocodiles who can quantum teleport; Nkisi invites users to listen to a soundtrack of the cosmos, and Omsk Social Club challenges visitors to choose their own path in an adventure game leading into the unknown.

April – May 2021

Nkisi, Orb, 2020

Orb (2020), is a sonic and visual exploration of the cosmos that is inspired by musician and composer Steve Coleman's essay ‘Regarding the Sonic Symbolism of When and Where’ (ARCANA V, compiled by John Zorn). The text is based on the premise that cosmic dynamics also consist of sound and music. Nkisi is particularly interested in the phenomenon of orbs, their manifestations and rhythms, and how they affect beings. Orbs are circular luminous spots encountered on photographic images. These particles are often associated with paranormal activities, indicating the presence of the souls of the deceased. During her two-month intervention, Nkisi presents her cosmic sound piece to connect visitors with the unconscious, inviting them to experience with open or closed eyes the orb’s diffusion of energy.

Biography

Melika Ngombe Kolongo also known as Nkisi is an artist, musician, producer and curator based in Berlin and London. In 2015, she founded NON Worldwide, a collective of African and diasporic artists that use sound and performance as their primary media to articulate the visible and invisible structures that create power dynamics in society. Nkisi uses sound to reveal the multi-sensory phenomena of living things, especially cosmic vibrations. She has performed widely across Europe and the US at venues including the South London Gallery, Museum Ludwig, Cologne and New Museum, New York.

May – June 2021

Omsk Social Club, The Wet Altar, 2021

The Wet Altar (2021) is a tale with no end. The interactive, digital work commissioned by LAS utilizes Omsk Social Club’s ideas of parallel worlds, their signature style of Real Game Play and the fierce practice of participation as perception. The webbed narrative sits at the crossroads of sci-fi, technology, magick, and current politics. It is reminiscent of choose-your-own-adventure stories, however, the work oversteps the boundaries between fiction and reality. The words echo into the reader’s everyday life through embedded commands. Channelling the worlds of artist Leonora Carrington, philosopher Simone Weil, and author Nnedi Okorafor, The Wet Alter questions the effect of narrative on our subconscious.

The title of the artwork is based on the term 'Wetware' - which refers to the connection between the central nervous system and the human mind. 'Wetware' is often used when speaking about the unconscious in the ancient Tibetan Book of the Dead. In later years the genre of science fiction used the term to describe the concept of software and hardware that undergoes a biochemical process, linking the human brain to other artificial systems and vice versa. The Wet Altar is constructed as a stage for the unconscious to explore its own imaginative modus, complete with trap doors, loopholes and encrypted escape rooms. Each user will most likely have a completely unique experience that can last from 1 minute to 5 days. The Wet Altar is not just a fictional work, it is a potentially lived reality that can be explored in real-time and space by the user.

About Omsk Social Club

Omsk Social Club (2016) is a collective based in Berlin and in the digital realm, whose artistic practice brings together Live Action Role Play (LARP) and Real Game Play (RGP) to induce states of a potential fiction or yet unlived reality for the viewers. Past works introduce landscapes and topics such as rave culture, survivalism, catfishing, positive trolling, algorithmic strategies and decentralised cryptocurrency. They have exhibited across Europe in various institutions such as HeK (House of Electronic Arts), Basel, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin and CCCB: Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona.

Past