Pharmakon: Acts, Traces, and Maps

Pharmakon: Acts, Traces, and Maps
Jérôme Conquy
Sounds by Forest Muran
December 9-12, 2020
Satellite Project Space
Gallery hours: Wednesday-Friday 2:00-7:00pm, Saturday 12:00-5:00pm

Technology has been feared throughout the centuries and has, along the way, triggered strange behaviours amongst humans as seen in The Dance of the Dead, and, more recently, The Theatre of the Absurd.
It is said that the English poet William Blake viewed man as fragmented by technology. Still today, many perceive technology as a disruptive force, a factor of entropy, but, it also has another facet: that of negentropy. Techno-scientific utopia is the last remaining one, but technology is just a tool and cannot be considered as a magic wand able to solve all problems. Each new technological discovery comes with good and bad, non-toxic and toxic elements. According to the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler, technology should be understood both as a remedy and a poison, finding in the notion of Pharmakon the solution. Indeed, this ancient Greek word is paradoxical. It can be translated as “drug,” which means both “remedy” and “poison.” Technology is present in our every day life, getting closer to our bodies, to the point that, sooner or later, it will be integrated under our skin. As a consequence, it affects us. It impacts our bodies, our gestures, and our psyche. Technology plays the role of a prescriber of behaviour pushing us to become so dependent on it that we become “digital puppets.”
Pharmakon: Acts, Traces, and Maps is an exhibition that revolves around how these new sets of gestures have come about within the new landscape of digital technologies and have had a tremendous impact on our bodies and behaviours. Working around several notions such as disruption, multi-layering, and fragmentation, and influenced by techniques created by Etienne-Jules Marey’s Chronophotography, film, photography, and drawing informed such works as Joy Jitsu, Self-[S]ensored: a neurotic dance, Maps, Amps, Pams, and Maps & Mazes. All of these works are a response to personal observations on how we interact, today, with our digital tools and technologies in public and private spaces.