W.S.I.N. (Weird Shit In Nature)
31 January – 24 March 2024
An exhibition of new works in sculpture, video and augmented reality.
Private view: Sunday 28 January 2024, 2-5pm
Exhibition continues: 31 January – 24 March 2024
Access the Augmented Reality piece by visiting wsin.mattsgallery.org/escape from your phone
A paper recently published in the journal Nature reported that in 2020, for the first time, the weight of human-made material on the planet exceeded that of the calculated bio-mass: there is now more human-made material than ‘natural’ material. This matter has penetrated all areas of the globe: artificial substances are detected throughout the food chain, microplastics are inside our bodies and in the air and in the high mountains.
W.S.I.N. (Weird Shit In Nature) uses sculpture, 3D modelling, digital animation and Augmented Reality to model a world where the materials of culture/technology have seeped into nature and taken root. A world where smart materials and distributed intelligences leach into mineral and organic matrixes to become new entities, where hybrid beings grow from forever chemicals and micro-plastics in rocky outcrops.
W.S.I.N. centres on a collection of diverse objects that flicker between models or sculptures referencing 20th century modernist bio-morphic sculpture, atomic/molecular models, pollens seeds, mathematical forms, nano-technologies, plastic waste, micro-plastics, discarded concrete and minerals.
They exist in the digital realm, built and animated with Blender, an open-source 3D modelling and animation programme that Richard Grayson started learning to use during lockdown. Here they shift between animate and inanimate states; rocks walk, spinning matrixes of plastic-eating bacteria fall to the ground and shatter, there are constant shifts from micro to macro, from simple subtle individual movements to large scale flocks.
Modernist art practices of the 20th century often abstracted and refined forms from nature seeking some form of essence (analogous to extraction and refinement of natural material in industry) to be used in culture. W.S.I.N allows Biomorphic abstractions to escape the white room and the pedagogic display, to run free in a nature where even simple minerals take on new roles and agency as the world and atmosphere warms, carbons trapping heat and silicons speeding AI.
The W.S.I.N entities might be new hybrid nature gods, components of vast structures, certain forms of ‘modern sculpture’, spirits of place, monsters, mutations, art-forms, non-human intelligences, pollution, or weird things that breed in the damp hollows of the internet of things. They are things where boundaries between virtual and material, animate and animate, blur and shift.
With thanks to the Richard Grayson Exhibition Supporters Circle for their generous support.
Free, no booking required.
Music and Sound: Natasha Anderson
Final Mix: Anthony Pateras
Video duration 55 mins.
Augmented Reality: 10pm Studio
Further exhibitions at Matt’s Gallery
By Our Own Hand
1 – 3 June 2018
1 January 2016 – 1 January 2019
Nothing Can Stop Us Now
23 May – 15 June 2014
The Magpie Index
18 January – 12 February 2012
The Golden Space City of God
13 May – 28 June 2009
19 January – 13 February 2005
24 November – 19 December 2004
In the shop
By Our Own Hand, 2018
The Golden Space City of God as described by David Berg, constructivist colour, 2009
The Golden Space City of God as described by David Berg, black and white, 2009
£96.00 (5 left)
I am Good at Games, 2004
The Midnight Amblers: Handel's Messiah