Erdos & Darrason: Song of The Sun 

Summer 2015

[Development] has thus no end, but it does have a limit, the expectation of the life of the sun. The anticipated explosion of this star is the only challenge objectively posed to development. The natural selection of systems is thus no longer of a biological but of a cosmic order. […]. The interest of humans is subordinate in this to that of the survival of complexity.
                                                   Jean-François Lyotard, The Inhuman: Reflection on Time, 1991

For their first collaboration, artist Andrew Erdos and curator Clara Darrason present Song of the Sun a video and sound installation in the Navajo Nation. Song of the Sun consists of a video depicting the Sun’s surface activity - the swaying lava and gasses dancing on the star, its eruption, coronal mass ejections and solar flares. The film was created through a montage of public domain footage of the NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory.  A sound installation plays simultaneously audio data recorded from the sun's low-frequency vibrations which have been captured by the Plasma Wave Antenna of NASA spacecraft Voyager 1. The visitors are plunged into a humming atmosphere and perceive a continuous drone sound, interrupted occasionally by higher pitch tones. 

Using the prehistoric landscapes of the Navajo Nation for a series of site specific Installations, Erdos & Darrason have deeply intertwined the myths and history of that part of the world with the most recent scientific perspectives.  In Song of the Sun Valley of the Gods the video is projected onto large boulders of iron rich sandstone. The light and sounds created by the sun and documented by the The Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft are projected under cover of twilight as the artificial antithesis to the natural energy the sentinel rock formations have been absorbing for millions of years. In Song of the Sun Black Mesa, the artists entered the coal mining compound above the mineral and water rich culturally sacred Black Mesa.A projection of the Sun is reflected on thousands of tons of coal as it is carried on a high speed conveyor belt from the earth to its future crucible. The compressed life of hundreds of millions of years is extracted from the earth, transferred to a new energy, and in the process the balance of life on earth is altered and the cycle is renewed. 

Erdos & Darrason’s installation is embedded and resonates with the geophysical era we now inhabit, the Anthropocene. Song of the Sun opens the discussion on the relative notion of time - the distance/time of transmission of sun videos; the "cosmic" time of the sun; the time of the formation of coal from decayed vegetation to its exploitation for energy. Upon watching the images of the boiling sun, the viewer is comforted by the power of technology which can foil distance (the sun is 93,000,000 miles away from earth and surrounded by vacuum) and sound (sound does not travel through space). However, as highlighted by philosopher Nicolas Bourriaud, “the power of algorithms” have led technological tools to an overwhelming and incomprehensible pace. The looped video conveys the very real and oppressing fact that human life expectancy is irremediably linked to the sun, while raising the viewers’ consciousness on the multiple perception of times.

About Erdos & Darrason:  

Clara Darrason (b. 1988, Paris, France) is a French curator currently living in New York and Director & Curator of The Chimney NYC. She has co-curated for the creative network AhAhAh! the exhibitions “L'Echappée Belle” at the Grand Palais, Paris (2013) and “ESCAPE” at Kowal + Odermatt Projects, Miami (2013). Darrason holds a MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Sciences Po (Lille, FR), and a MS in Management of Cultural Goods & Activities from ESCP Europe Business School (Paris, FR) & The Univeristy of Ca' Foscari (Venice, IT).  After three years of Art Fair organization, curating and project management in France (2011-2014), she moved to New York to complete a MA in Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s Institute in New York (2015), and is writing her thesis on “The Representation of Women Artists from Art School to Commercial Galleries in NYC”. 

Andrew Erdos (b. 1985, Norwalk, CT) is a New York based artist. His sculptures, videos, photography, and mixed-media installations explore themes related to time, light, and the sublime. Drawing from his mastering of glass techniques, as well as from historical, mythical, and personal sources, Erdos constructs open narratives which results in a sensory overload for the viewer. Erdos graduated with a BFA from Alfred University. He has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Claire Oliver Gallery in New York, with Invaluable (2015) and Guaranteed Impermanence (2013). Erdos’ work can be found in the permanent collections of the New Britain Museum of American Art; the Toledo Museum of Art; the Knoxville Museum of Art; the Corning Museum of Glass; the 21c Museum in Durham, and the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison. Andrew Erdos lives and works in New York City.