SURVIVAL RESEARCH LABS
Exhibition Dates: January 21 - February 25, 2006
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 21, from 6 - 8 PM
For its inaugural exhibition Fringe Exhibitions is pleased to present the work of Mark Pauline, director of Survival Research Laboratories (SRL).
This exhibition will feature the newest addition to the SRL machine family- the Sneaky Soldiers- near life sized, remote controlled army of revolutionaries. Also included in the exhibition will be large-scale documentary images, and the premier of the video from SRL's recent show in Downtown Los Angeles. This video features the first invasion of the Sneaky Soldiers. The SRL commentary on the art of war debued a Sneaky Soldier emerging from an 18-foot tall wooden Trojan horse to face danger from large-scale destructive robots enduring the pain of flame and damage through a hail of sparks and projectiles. After the fog of war was lifted from the field of battle revealing mangled wrecks of machinery, the Sneaky Soldiers were gathered to be repaired to fight again another day. Similar to a real theater of war where battle takes place, these machines and props engage in a struggle for survival. Both the machines and operators expend intense energy creating an atmosphere of immediacy and choreographed chaos. Each of the eight soldiers has an individual number and distinct battle wounds from the performance. The Sneaky Soldier has been a recurring character in many SRL performances. The new Sneaky Soldier is a major technological improvement with a steel torso enclosing a battery powered, chain driven mechanism to create a crawling action.
SRL engages new vocabularies by integrating machines, theatrical sets and props, with dramatic, visual metaphors bringing to life, large-scale mechanical performances for audiences that rival other popular culture events. By taking things to extreme ends, SRL attempts to create new levels of sensory and emotional intensity. Using diverse disciplines such as performance, literature, and engineering, in concert with artistic expression, ideas are transformed into visceral experiences. Employing technology to the fullest and breaking new ground by trying to build collaboration between art and electronic culture, the creative work of SRL is constantly evolving as advances in new technologies are being developed. We are just beginning to scratch the surface on understanding the potential of technology and its relationship to contemporary art. With the assimilation of machine to technology, cultural transformations take place. The evolution of electronic culture is a change in the dynamics of society, representation and experience.
Survival Research Laboratories was conceived and founded by Mark Pauline in 1978 as an organization of creative technicians dedicated to redirecting the techniques, tools, and tenets of industry, science, and the military away from their typical manifestations in practicality, product, or warfare. SRL has staged over 50 mechanized presentations in the United States, Europe, and Japan that consist of a unique set of ritualized interactions between machines, robots, and special effects devices, employed in developing themes of socio-political satire. Since its inception SRL has operated as a not for profit organization producing its own live mechanical performances.