TABOO - TRANSGRESSION - TRANSCENDENCE
in Art & Science
26-28 November 2020, University of Applied Arts Vienna/Online
The presentation reviews the largely undiscovered work of Greek-Alexandrian polymathartist PolyXene Kasda, a remarkable case in the Greek interdisciplinary art scene (1980-present). With focus on her long-spanning project Myth/Network (1990-2017), the presentation outlines her multimodal art-based research, including her empirical study on the epistemology of myth.
Kasda’s film documentary “The Adventures of the Eye” (ERT, 1986) and her acclaimed book “The Conscious Eye: Art-Perception-Informatics” (Aigokeros, 1988) can be considered a landmark in the art theory and artificial intelligence discourse in Greece. Her following project “Myth/Network” (1990-2017) forms an original body of work on the epistemology of myth, located across the epistemic profound, artistic pristine and scientific profane. The project was manifesting through document-based ideographies, immaterial or dematerialising botanical artworks, community-based scripted art expeditions and self-reflexive narrative texts, among others. Myth/Network included the publication of herhighly disputable book “Pyrisporos: Art-Science-Mythology” (Aigokeros, 1994), which contained radical extrapolations and hermeneutics of scientific, artistic and cultural heritage exploratory references, in chapters titled as “Cannibalistic Galaxy and Jumper Genes'' and “Sirius, Serialism, Sirens and Clockwise Enzymes”. As she recalls in her biography, the book “Pyrisporos” disturbed and chased away the audience she had gained with her previous publication, “The Conscious Eye” (Kasda, 2016).Myth/Network embodies an original epistemology of myth examined through art-based research. In the context of interdisciplinary myth studies, Kasda conceptualises Timaeus’“Khôra” as the foundation of mythical topology and “mythical agents” (analogous to D.Hoffman’s “conscious agents”).
Myth/Network draws on scientific concepts of Kasda’s academic study fields (physics, psychology), that lie at the intersection of speculative materialism, transcendental collectivism and mythical paideia, gradually unfolding her immersive art-based practice: the aesthetics of sustained liminality.