Explaining contemporary art to live eels

Explaining contemporary art to live eels belongs to an ongoing performative project in which guest speakers are invited to explain contemporary art to eels that are later released back into-the-wild. The work addresses issues related to transmission, diffusion, sending, receiving and not-knowing. Edition number four was commissioned by CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux in 2008 and other editions were presented at Villa Arson, Nice and at La Panacée, Montpellier commissioned by curator and art historian Sébastien Pluot in the context of his research project In translation and related exhibitions.

In this installation the aquatic environment of Explaining contemporary art to live eels does not host the performative event but is reconfigured as an archival space where manifold affects from past performances are displayed together. Live eels are now exchanged with a copper sculpture, There is no simulation, in a sense a facsimile of a live eel, commissioned and produced by Villa Croce and cast at the Fonderia Artistica Battaglia in Milan.

“Parts hide one another; and when the artifact is completed the activity that fits them together disappears completely.”- Bruno Latour
“Everyone’s mind will be permanently linked to the wireless Internet, and through the Internet to everyone else’s mind. This will trigger very radical changes. In particular, telepathic groups able to instantly share and elaborate thoughts will produce an enormous acceleration in the development and deployment of new ideas, and cause the emergence of “group minds.” And once neural communication is sufficiently deep, accurate and fast, it will be possible to transfer the informational content of a person’s brain, with memories, thoughts and feelings, to a higher performance storage and process- ing device. This “mind uploading” technology may eventually provide practical immortality.”- space physicist Giulio Prisco