Madam I’m Adam
September 10-October 9, 2016
Madam I’m Adam is a palindrome. Palindromes are found in various forms: numerically, acoustically, verbally, etc. A palindrome DNA structure allows the Y-chromosome to repair itself by bending over at the middle if one of the sides are damaged.
This past spring, Elon Musk reveled details for his highly anticipated SpaceX program, with the goal of establishing a human colony on Mars.
This is an ambitious endeavor given that interplanetary travel has yet to happen, and Mars is approximately 140 million miles from Earth. So, what will make this possible? Technology and a human drive to explore have undoubtedly made this space-time compression feasible, but what are the auxiliary effects?
Concurrently, this past week the International Geological Congress met in Cape Town to recommend that a new geological epoch needs to be declared. We are no longer living in the Holocene. The Anthropocene, or the epoch in history marked by human activity, denotes a significant turning point for the Earth, where the behaviors of humans determine the fate of the earth more so than the forces of nature determining the dealings of humans. This sets a different trajectory for the Earth.
A fried egg roll, a pepperoni pizza, a Teleflex Continuous Flow Nassal Cannula, a Ortho Micronor Birth Control case, a Klashnikov AK-47 magazine, a horseshoe crab, some human ribs, a raptor claw. What do these all have in common?
In ancient times, an eternal flame was kept for a light source, warmth, means to cook and defend. Today, eternal flames usually symbolize a person or event of national significance. There’s an eternal flame here in New York City at Ground Zero, which was lit on the anniversary of 9/11, and has been burning ever since. Christine Navin’s eternal flame is a digitized one. It was once the combustion of oxygen and wood, but now it lives within the bulbs of the LCD screens. These bulb-forming pixels will continue to emit light, just like the flame, as long as an energy source is connected and maintained. Eventually the bulbs will burn out, but a new screen can conceivably replace them.
According to the book of Leviticus, fire came from the presence of the Lord and should therefore serve as a constant reminder of God’s power; God is the consuming fire.
All existence and energy is reoccurring and will continue to reoccur across infinite space and time—if you believe in the concept of eternal return. Time is not linear; it’s cyclical. The scarab in ancient Egypt, the wheel of life in Buddhism, and Nietzsche’s sandglass all refer to this notion. The title of the show, Madam I’m Adam, is a palindrome, it’s words read the same way forwards as they do backwards. Palindromes are found in various forms: numerically, acoustically, biologically etc. Everything is everywhere. A palindrome DNA structure allows the Y-chromosome to repair itself by bending over at the middle if one of the sides is damaged.
Our world is spreading out and speeding up and Christine Navin examines the collapsing space and time in the advent of our modern era. She questions the utility and value of the objects, those made by man, and those made organically, allowing us to objectively reexamine them after they have been rendered neutral through her casting process. Using a visual lexicon, Navin questions what happens between consumption and waste.
Why is it that the 1997 Nokia 6160 has become obsolete, but the 450 million year old horseshoe crab has not? Well that’s because horseshoe crabs serve a very specific need for us. Their blood contains a chemical that is capable of detecting and containing mere traces of bacterial presence and will coagulate into a gel if found. We have been unable to synthesize this chemical in a lab, so each year, we bleed out millions of horseshoe crabs in order to extract what we need.
Trilobites roamed the seas for over 270 millions years, but where are they now? What forms have they taken?
Should we now be asking if these objects and organisms will return in the same bodies or forms, or have we moved beyond that? Must we be stewards of this Earth, tenders to the flame, or can we simply pick up and recolonize?