The Archaeology of Another Possible Future

The Archaeology of Another Possible Future explores the question of what happens to stuff, and the people who make stuff, in an age of increasingly ephemeral value and ever accelerating technological change. In an era when financial capital is accumulated between milliseconds through flash trading, where does real value exist, and how does abstract value square with our physical reality and real time? The Archaeology of Another Possible Future seeks to explore these questions through a five-part archaetonic installation spread across 30,000 square feet.

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The Archaeology of Another Possible Future explores the question of what happens to stuff, and the people who make stuff, in an age of increasingly ephemeral value and ever accelerating technological change. In an era when financial capital is accumulated between milliseconds through flash trading, where does real value exist, and how does abstract value square with our physical reality and real time? The Archaeology of Another Possible Future seeks to explore these questions through a five-part archaetonic installation spread across 30,000 square feet.

The installation will be activated in a performance with a group of former factory workers using dance as a pretext for a conversation about the legacy and future of labor. Participants will draw from their own muscle and narrative memories of labor to construct a collaborative dance affirming the body in all its imperfection.

  1. I. ANALOG EXPERIENCE
    The show opens with a sequence of three “analog caves” constructed with forklift pallets. Forklift pallets, which bear the anonymous traces of global commerce, are a recurrent material in Glynn’s work. The first cave, TOUCH, will contain a series of hanging stalagtites, and piles of cast off industrial felt. The second structure, SOUND (full spectrum), features three listening stations with turntables and vinyl records with analog recordings. The third cave, SMELL, includes a series of hand-formed ceramic vessels containing different scents linked to philosophical ideas.

II: THE SHAPE OF PROGRESS
Part II features a series of abstract sculptures based on different historic and economic models for the trajectory of human progress, at a moment when the fundamental nature of progress has been called into question. Highlights include The Butterfly Effect, an enclosure featuring the lifecycle of live butterflies, Techtonic Shift, a sculpture based on Manuel da Landa’s theory of history as a series. Many of the sculptural forms are derived from abstract diagrams and scaled to the body, to allow a sense of phenomenological impact.

III. SPECULATIONS
Three shipping containers are installed in the middle of the Building 5 installation. The first contains a “jobsite office” of sorts, featuring a caretaker formerly employed in a local manufacturing trade. The caretaker interacts with visitors, and attends the 3-D printers operating in part IV. Another container installation includes drawings of various failed and obsolete inventions. The third container is the backdrop for a three-channel video of Y2K predictions that never came to pass, and a video of workers’ bodies disappearing into thin air.

IV. THE AGE OF EMPHEMERALIZATION
Three scaffolding towers house three 3-D printers continually outputting over the course of the exhibition. The printers represent the link between the virtual and the physical. One prints a forklift pallet model echoing pallets used to craft the caves; another outputs a piece of hardware for the scaffolding, while a third produces a prosthetic element in reference to an absent body. Visitors are able to enter the Building 5 Gallery via a catwalk from the mezzanine on Floor 3, connected to Building 7.

V. POST-INDUSTRIAL VACATIONLAND (After Adlous Huxley)
Responding to the notion that the machine age would bring the newly liberated population a time of great leisure, Huxley suggested that human would in fact experience depression and boredom when the machines replaced their jobs. The rear of the gallery is littered with stainless steel tumbleweeds, as well as modified stainless steel stretchers and tanning lamps to evoke a sort of post-apocalyptic vacation community. Industrial columns removed from the old building during renovation will be reinstalled to create a sense of the classical ruin.

APPENDIX A
Appendix A contains a series of color-coded steel tool racks tracing the history of human technology as an extension of the body. Tools have been re-made by the artist, scanned with a 3-D scanner, and output by 3-D printer. The tools are grouped by action verbs.

APPENDIX B
Appendix B presents a grid of newsprint posters. One side features a fragment of text referring to acts of making and human progress; the other is a photographic image of an industrial landscape in transition.

  • The Archaeology of Another Possible Future, 2017
    MASS MoCA, Installation view
    Photo: David Dashiell
  • The Archaeology of Another Possible Future, 2017
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • The Archaeology of Another Possible Future, 2017
    MASS MoCA, Installation view
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • I. ANALOG
    MASS MoCA, Installation view
  • TOUCH CAVE, 2017
    Industrial felt, reclaimed forklift pallets with steel
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • SOUND CAVE (full spectrum), 2017
    Analog vinyl record pressed from tape recording, Untitled Record Cabinet (plywood with dye stain and Danish oil, felt, audio components), Time Capsule (Past/Future 2017) (plywood with dye stain and Danish oil, tape cassette player, audiocassettes), reclaimed forklift pallets with steel
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • SOUND CAVE (full spectrum), 2017
    Analog vinyl record pressed from tape recording, Untitled Record Cabinet (plywood with dye stain and Danish oil, felt, audio components), Time Capsule (Past/Future 2017) (plywood with dye stain and Danish oil, tape cassette player, audiocassettes), reclaimed forklift pallets with steel
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: David Dashiell
  • SMELL CAVE, 2017
    Selections from the Platonic Solids series (glazed stoneware, solid scent) on powder-coated steel tables with forklift pallet stock, reclaimed forklift pallets with steel
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • SMELL CAVE, 2017
    Selections from the Platonic Solids series (glazed stoneware, solid scent)
  • II. THE SHAPE OF PROGRESS
    Pictured: The Butterfly Effect, Whittle (The 1%), Creative Destruction
    MASS MoCA, Installation view
    Photo: David Dashiell
  • II. THE SHAPE OF PROGRESS
    MASS MoCA, Installation view
    Photo: David Dashiell
  • II. THE SHAPE OF PROGRESS
    Pictured: Creative Destruction, Broken Graph (the end?), Eternal Return I
    MASS MoCA, Installation view
    Photo: David Dashiell
  • II. THE SHAPE OF PROGRESS
    MASS MoCA, Installation view
  • II. THE SHAPE OF PROGRESS
    Pictured: We're Getting Crushed, American Progress
    MASS MoCA, Installation view
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • American Progress (After John Gast), 2017
    Copper sheeting, copper pipe, steel
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: David Dashiell
  • III. SPECULATIONS
    Untitled (Office)
    , 2017
    Shipping container, office furniture, blackboard, workbench, various tools, books, periodic caretaker
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
  • III. SPECULATIONS
    Untitled (Office)
    , 2017
    Shipping container, office furniture, blackboard, workbench, various tools, books, periodic caretaker
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: David Dashiell
  • III. SPECULATIONS
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • III. SPECULATIONS
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: David Dashiell
  • III. SPECULATIONS
    Possible Futures, past and present
    , 2017
    Shipping container, monitors, two videos: Y2K, 2017, and What happens to us?, 2017
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • III. SPECULATIONS
    Failure = Progress | Progress > Obsolescence,
    2017
    Shipping container, partially destroyed chandelier with Aqua-Resin and acrylic, drawings with ink, pencil, and sumi ink on paper
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • III. SPECULATIONS
    Failure = Progress | Progress > Obsolescence,
    2017
    Shipping container, partially destroyed chandelier with Aqua-Resin and acrylic, drawings with ink, pencil, and sumi ink on paper
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • The Archaeology of Another Possible Future, 2017
    MASS MoCA, Installation view
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • Moore's Law, 2017
    Exponential array of stainless steel forklift pallets in stacks of 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and 32
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • The Archaeology of Another Possible Future, 2017
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • IV. THE AGE OF EPHEMERALIZATION, 2017
    Three 3-D printers, pedestals, three stainless steel tables, two wash baths, cure machine, two aluminium trays, 3-D printed objects, steel catwalks, steel scaffolding towers, aluminium stairs, contact microphones, amplifiers, speakers Site specific dimensions
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • IV. THE AGE OF EPHEMERALIZATION, 2017
    Three 3-D printers, pedestals, three stainless steel tables, two wash baths, cure machine, two aluminium trays, 3-D printed objects, steel catwalks, steel scaffolding towers, aluminium stairs, contact microphones, amplifiers, speakers Site specific dimensions
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • IV. THE AGE OF EPHEMERALIZATION, 2017
    Three 3-D printers, pedestals, three stainless steel tables, two wash baths, cure machine, two aluminium trays, 3-D printed objects, steel catwalks, steel scaffolding towers, aluminium stairs, contact microphones, amplifiers, speakers Site specific dimensions
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: David Dashiell
  • IV. THE AGE OF EPHEMERALIZATION, 2017
    Three 3-D printers, pedestals, three stainless steel tables, two wash baths, cure machine, two aluminium trays, 3-D printed objects, steel catwalks, steel scaffolding towers, aluminium stairs, contact microphones, amplifiers, speakers Site specific dimensions
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: David Dashiell
  • POST-INDUSTRIAL VACATIONLAND (after Aldous Huxley), 2017
    Reclaimed cast-iron columns, selections from the Neverwork series (modified stainless steel stretchers, I.V. bags with antifreeze and liquid vitamin B12, Aqua-Resin with acrylic) and the Desert Future series, 2017 (cast stainless steel tumbleweeds, tanning lamps)
    MASS MoCA, Installation view
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • POST-INDUSTRIAL VACATIONLAND (after Aldous Huxley), 2017
    Reclaimed cast-iron columns, selections from the Neverwork series (modified stainless steel stretchers, I.V. bags with antifreeze and liquid vitamin B12, Aqua-Resin with acrylic) and the Desert Future series, 2017 (cast stainless steel tumbleweeds, tanning lamps)
    MASS MoCA, Installation view
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • POST-INDUSTRIAL VACATIONLAND (after Aldous Huxley), 2017
    Reclaimed cast-iron columns, selections from the Neverwork series (modified stainless steel stretchers, I.V. bags with antifreeze and liquid vitamin B12, Aqua-Resin with acrylic) and the Desert Future series, 2017 (cast stainless steel tumbleweeds, tanning lamps)
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • POST-INDUSTRIAL VACATIONLAND (after Aldous Huxley), 2017
    Reclaimed cast-iron columns, selections from the Neverwork series (modified stainless steel stretchers, I.V. bags with antifreeze and liquid vitamin B12, Aqua-Resin with acrylic) and the Desert Future series, 2017 (cast stainless steel tumbleweeds, tanning lamps)
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • APPENDIX A
    MASS MoCA, Installation view
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • APPENDIX A
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • APPENDIX A
    Selections from the Extensions series
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • Technologies of Urbanization, 2017
    Copper pipe, bricks
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • APPENDIX B, 2017
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: Steven Probert
  • APPENDIX B, 2017
    MASS MoCA, Installation detail
    Photo: David Dashiell