Jana J. Mercogliano at Pragovka Gallery Entry

Title: In the Other World

17. 9. – 17.10.

Venue: Pragovka Gallery Entry

Curator: Tereza Špinková

Photos: Marcel Rozhoň  

In the science fields, an effort is being put to acknowledge more senses among the 5 basic ones generally known. One of the new senses could be proprioception. It literally means “feelings of own body“. It is about the nerve system’s ability to register changes happening in muscles and inside of the body triggered by the movement and muscle activity (position sense)[1]. The more we know about human body, perception, emotions and feelings, the more we see clearly that the particular senses cannot be separated from each other so easily. According to visual theorist Nicholas Mirzoeff, vision, for instance, is not just one separate and independent sense, but it goes through many processes and analyses – it is constantly subjected to feedback gained from other parts of the body.[2] Perceptions of the world around us are also provided by “mirror neurons“, recently described by neurologists (in 1992). Thanks to those, we are able to react on others, learn from others and experience what they experience. The neurons in brains of a spectator and an actor are activated in the same way. They enable us to see the world from their own point of view, but they provide also an idea (to get the feeling) of perspectives of other people.

“Other” world is perceived as something we do not know yet, whether it is exploring of neuron networks inside of our bodies, or a human being who we meet and who we are willing to involve in our life. From “stranger” we slowly acknowledge him as “familiar”. If we find this activity tempting, we are willing to enter the unknown and overcome our fears connected to it. The spatial installation could be perceived as an architectonic transcript of the neuron brain network, materialization of the nerve fibres invisible to the eye. It metaphorically symbolises spreading of an information, or activities in the outside world and shows its cognitive mechanisms.

Jana Mercogliano focuses on physical structures and processes for a long time. Lately, she has been creating self-organizing systems that are controlled by their internal logic without using any informative technology (analog). The parts she uses in her works are also important – those are common electro-technic devices from which she constructs simple electronic circuits that function without any computer aid. The core structural unit is the condenser accumulating energy – it accumulates the energy until it is full and then it releases it all at once. Second unit, called NE555, makes pulses out of fluent electric current so it can be used as a timer, a frequency meter, or a sound generator. Jana Mercogliano has already worked with those mechanisms in her previous projects. In this installation, she uses them for creating a new chain reaction applied in LED lights network module. Visitor illuminates surrounding environment by touching accessible “triggers” and through this activity – slight movements – he learns contours and initiates system with its own rules. The light installation is mainly a spatial installation where walls of the gallery are not so important, but the activity happening between them is – the new experience of “position sense” and how it affects us.

Curator: Tereza Špinková


[1] Definition: Medical Dictionary Online

[2] Nicholas Mirzoeff: How to See the World

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