DAWNING: DUST, SEEDS, COPLEES by MIMI PARK at LUBOV [from 20220219 to 20220416]

[Photos: LUBOV]

Fluttering can be heard from within a streetlamp; a lifeforce has been drawn inside by empty promises of warmth and light. Embedded into an amorphous, soft, white mush, embryos laid in wait. A clunky humidifier irrigates the seedlings by periodically blanketing them with a fine mist. Stoic figures twirl and sing, and bells chime – today’s date must mark an unknown celebration, perhaps a birth. A boundless organism is expanding all around you, terraforming its own ecosystem. Contained by a finite lifespan, the withering stage is imminent. If overlaid on fresh soil, ungerminated seeds native to this archipelago may be granted a second chance. For this special occasion, knitters gathered to weave yarn nodes and synapses into a flexible and fertile orifice preserved in resin. While the dissonant processions are taking place, a softer sound, nearly imperceptible, is suddenly present. Something else is moving in the room, can you locate it? Put your ear to the ground, wet your finger and hold it up to the wind. Can you identify this dialect? Which direction is the transmission coming from? In a second room, heaps of dust, shards of glass, and dormant miscellanea glimmer harmoniously across the studio floor. A knitted speaker is eavesdropping on our conversation. Be careful, this place may be bugged. Signals continue to be processed, but please be aware that the wires could have crossed and delays may occur. The disentangling procedure is underway.

— Moira Sims, February 2022

Mimi Park presents mutable objects that respond to a meticulously crafted environment. The audience is directly implicated in the exhibition’s framework: motion, touch, sight, and sound are all charged with affective potential. The mobility of her fabricated creatures elicits something specific within us, we immediately project aliveness. Park thus taps into modes of relationality, exploring emotional depths and scavenging for points of connection.

This exhibition particularizes a larger social fabric by presenting small kinetic sculptures that respond to diverse stimuli. Mimi examines a functional system without a clear nucleus. Charged with aliveness, her plexus is one that lives and breathes, “with parts linked in regulatory networks that respond to environment and context.” Deborah M. Gordon anticipates Mimi’s concern for interconnectivity and challenges the search for “perfect efficiency, or for another example of the same process observed elsewhere.” Setting forth from this trajectory, Mimi allows viewers to confront themselves on different terms. Systematization of the everyday induces a specific hyperawareness toward life itself. Movement, expression, and contingencies pass through the veil of inherency and are deposited under a new microscope, challenging the primacy of certain senses. Mimi thus dismantles blockages to real connectivity. She champions materializing what may otherwise be invisible or inexplicable.

Mimi takes further heed from the work of Ada Lovelace who proposed that a strong imagination should identify “points in common, between subjects having no very apparent connexion, & hence seldom or never brought into juxtaposition.” Her most prescient notion comes as a romantic valuation of the sciences, expressing “those who have learned to walk on the threshold of the unknown worlds, by means of what are commonly termed par excellence the exact sciences, may then with the fair white wings of Imagination hope to soar further into the unexplored amidst which we live.”

It’s important that Mimi gets to play to no end, without direct purpose. Things come to the fore unbidden. Equipped with a carefully constructed toolbox, she detects patterns and investigates alternative modes of communication, ultimately probing the point where language and preconceptions short-circuit. Her constructed situation anatomizes linguistic and perceptual limitations as Mimi seeks to identify where signals might be lost or disrupted. New vocabularies emerge from her hypersensorial display, providing encouragement for viewers to engage in this unique framework. She’s parsing the sui generi nature of being by mapping complex systems, working to remedy the alienation within and between people.

Mimi seeks to visualize the invisible with a large threaded structure. This matrix is a metaphor for collaboration and the interrelation of concepts like flexible electronics, soft algorithms, fuzzy logic, and warped time. It also functions as a habitat for Mimi’s built creatures and found objects. Her fragile web requires tending to, she is the creator and the caregiver at once. She anticipates failure and unhappy surprises as it’s impossible to control everything, embedding unforeseen deviations within her practice. In clear terms, she is nurturing her very own Ever Evolving Living Entity.

— Reilly Davidson, February 2022

Mimi Park (b. 1996) is an interdisciplinary artist currently residing in New York. Inspired by interwoven patterns around her, which includes the microscopic world, soft circuitry, play therapy and beyond – Park continues her world-building. The sensorial plays a central role in her work, interested in the ways that neuro-atypical forms of communication can often be misconstrued, something that she has experienced firsthand. Mimi has exhibited her work in Chicago, New York, Seoul and Berlin.

[Text: Moira Sims + Reilly Davidson]

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