Y

ABOUT
Y COLLECTIVE

ART COLLECTIVE BASED IN ARMENIA, FOUNDED BY CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS ANNA VAHRAMI & VANANE BORIAN.  “Y” IS A CROSSDISCIPLINARY ORIENTED ART COLLECTIVE, RESEARCHING THE COLLABORATION BETWEEN ART & SCIENCE.

Since the beginning of the global quarantine in 2020, we did our first collaborative work as artists, in the field of audio-visual media, as part of the online project Virtual Viewing Room (VVR), created by the HYPE Pop Up Gallery. Rooted in our motives and mutual ideas, we decided to create an art collective that aims to develop artistic practices, expand knowledge in the field of technological and scientific art, acquire the necessary international experience to promote these areas in Armenia, and develop long-term educational and creative programs. As an art collective, we would like to expand the possibilities of art, the possibilities of collaboration between art and science, to make this act accessible, in the process of research, to understand how to integrate art into science and vice versa, develop tools for this intersectional integrations. Researching the topic of transhumanism and eggistentialism give us an understanding of the mental and physical structure of society. Understanding the impact of science and technology on society in general and on the individual, in particular, really means a lot at this stage of human development and individual practices such as art and science. 

OUR PROJECTS:

EGGSISTENTIALISM 2021-2022

Project concept

EGGSISTENTIALISM is a multidisciplinary artist project which includes art practices and research. We believe, that art and science together create a large field of opportunities and a variety of creation tools, which demand deep research and understanding of technologies and collaborative tools. Our project incorporates technological and artistic practices. The main ideological thread is the egg as a symbol in its three manifestations - strength (as a symbol of men's power), fertility (symbol of a female destiny and function), and the source of nutrition (live food). Those three ideas are deeply imbued in social, political, and hierarchical structures. Confronting these fundamental paradigms of the patriarchal world the ideas of gender equality, child-free and vegan positions - bring with them a different perception, that changes the forms of interactions between men, women, and nature and gives us "new" ethical politics, which influences each field of social and political aspects. The project, despite its quite archaic elements, is very technological and scientifically equipped. The mix of art and technology is very important, especially the biological and medical parts of it supported by academic research. Primarily, the technological installations are the main elements that will be supported by additional practices such as digital technologies, scientific research, and empiric experience.

The project explores

1. The physical and mental ideas of the biological clock of the human body, the medical processes of cryopreservation, abortion, and embryo banking.

2. The symbolism of egg in religious and clerical paradigm

3. The egg is a symbol of power, as a source of life and entity

LIVING INSTALLATION (PHYSICAL)

Alteration Festival 2021, Yerevan, Armenia

The installation consisted of 100 real eggs, placed into the white box. For 4 months the installation was not dismantled and during the chemical processes, it has been rotten totally. The eggs produced hydrogen sulfide H23 and the installation dismantling became a hard scientific process.

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LIVING INSTALLATION (DIGITAL)

This is an ongoing online installation on the Instagram platform. Starting at 2022, each day the fid is replenished by an additional egg, with an increasing serial number. The ID of all eggs is the same. The image was bought on images stock. It is planned that the project will continue for one year. The idea of repetitive daily actions is parallel to existential processes. In contrast to the live installation, the egg is never rotting, it will stay as an online product forever. The digital context gives us an illusion of nevertheless freshness, purity, and reproduction. As an opposite to human fertility processes, digital eggs do not have biological destruction, they are cryptoconservated as digital objects.

“Quarantine, Current Time” 2020

For Virtual Viewing Room VVR project by HAYP INSITU

Haypinsitute 2020, Yerevan, Armenia, online installation.

Audiovisual artwork dedicated to the COVID-19 quarantine period. Explores the issues of sexuality and tactility lack during the lockdown.

In the beginning, there was a disclaimer forbidding touching the device the work was played on. The work was stopping each time viewer was touching the screen.

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SMART REFLECTION 2021

Project concept

The “Smart Reflection” project is a public installation created with the technical support of a smart mirror - a screen that acts as a mirror. This is a tool that selectively reflects reality, coupled with a virtual dimension. The “Smart Reflection” project will be created by using artificial intelligence products and programming.

By habit, most people turn to see themselves in reflective objects. The project adopts this "reflexive" behavior of people.

A screen mirror will be installed in a public space, where passers-by will have the opportunity to look at their intended reflection in it. The exact location has not yet been determined. Is it just good to install the manipulated mirror in a public toilet (e.g. government agency)? So to speak, in the "natural environment" where mirrors are usually found? Or does the mirror appear in a place where we do not expect it to be? For example in an underpass?

In general, I would like to clarify this kind of question of what happens to a work when it is brought out of the usual white-cube-context into public space. What possibilities, challenges, limits, and other questions arise.

The installation will be programmed according to the prototype of Instagram filters, in which the screen recognizes the face and body of a person in a specific position and applies masks and filters. In this case, a person will be able to see everything that is reflected in the mirror with peripheral vision, but when trying to see yourself in full face, the viewer will see everything except himself, he will see his silhouette with the recognizable transparent pattern from photoshop. The viewer will be cut out of “reality”.

The mirror thus functions as a carrier-medium and at the same time as a crystallization point for theoretical and psychological debates.

Constant clash with death (pandemic and war) and a changing world formed during and after the pandemic, led me to a question of an existential nature.

The purpose of this social experiment is to draw the individual's attention to this phenomenon and create conflicting sensations in an ever-changing world, which has become extremely visible due to the pandemic. This “forces” the viewer to leave the usual cycle and think about the following topics:

Has the age of selfies and digital manipulation of images in general alienated us from ourselves and led to an indifferent relationship between the individual, society, and nature?
Are we able to see our true self, or are technical tricks keeping us from knowing ourselves and interacting with the world around us?

What is “the real world” and do I exist in it? What if my habitual reflection disappears? And finally, who is "I"?

Appearance and disappearance, expectations that are not fulfilled (as soon as I look into the mirror, I disappear). The thematization of technologies and at the same time making their

inflationary use visible. This partly ironic and deconstructive perspective on the subject interests me.

At this point, I have outlined a project that occupies me and that I would like to continue working on. I have been able to clarify questions for myself, at the same time new questions arise. I would find it strange if I could present a project here that had been worked out and planned from beginning to end. I am curious about things that will arise during the work, new influences, ideas, artistic input and theoretical backgrounds that will flow in.

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*Installation mockup

(RE)ACT 2021
ART & SCIENCE

Project concept

The (Re)Act project is about rethinking actions and reactions during global changes. As an analogy to the changes in a society behavior as a result of pandemic, we would like to observe the living particles behavior and transformation during the physical manipulations with them. As a material for research, we are going to share our own biomaterial. Since the beginning of the pandemic, millions of people have continuously hand over their biomaterials to study and detect the virus.

This project is a series of researches on the influence of various physical processes on living cells. The subject of research will be the biomaterial of the artists themselves. In the process of research, we want to delve into the section of biophysics and study how various physical interventions and manipulations affect the behavior and structure of living cells. In an era of irreversible changes associated with global warming and pandemic in particular, along with climatic temperature fluctuations, we also encountered temperature changes of a biological nature. The pandemic forced the whole world to reconsider social and political views, as well as interpersonal behavioral patterns. Approaching the research from a scientific-philosophical point of view, drawing an analogy between social behavior and the behavior of cells, we face the question - is it possible for the further rational existence of humanity without self-consciousness and scientific awareness? At the end of the research, we would like to develop a publicly available application for smart gadgets, using artificial intelligence, which will display the analogies of our experiments, with the option provided to perform similar manipulations on particles and to discover a scientific experiment experience.

Project description

Along with technological progress, humanity has faced biological vulnerability, experienced isolation, and tried to rethink the meaning of freedom. The maximum digitalization of the elements of life gave us the opportunity to exist in a post-tactile world and brought us closer to the idea of a possible future, in which the human essence is separated from the physical body and represented as digital information. The transformation of flesh into data makes it possible for an endless existence and excludes any physical and biological cataclysms that may occur to a human.

The subject of research is the biomaterial of artists. In the course of this experiment, which will be supervised by scientists, we want to fix and structure the transformations of particles subjected to various physical influences. During the laboratory research process, we assume cooperation with physicists from various fields, in particular from the fields of thermodynamics and biophysics, in order to study how strong are the influences of external factors on the behavior and structure of particles. We are interested in how temperature fluctuations, light changes, resonant and dissonant sound, and other physical manipulations affect living cells. It is also extremely important for us to understand how these changes can be recorded and transformed into digital information.

The purpose of our research is to gain scientific experience that will expand intellectual horizons and provide an opportunity to understand, comprehend and rethink the relationship between science and human nature. We, as artists, understand the unshakable connection between science and art, we understand the importance of cooperation and interdisciplinary experiences in order to obtain more productive results in the development and awareness of society. At the end of the research, we would like to develop a publicly available application for smart gadgets, using artificial intelligence, which will display the analogies of our experiments, with the option provided to perform similar manipulations on particles and to discover a scientific experiment experience. This act will allow many people to realize the influence of certain physical manipulations on the particles of a living organism in the form of visual material and get closer to science.

Our project is a post-humanism experience that researches a philosophical view of how the world is changing. In our opinion, science and technology are an evolutionary bridge between humans, as a vulnerable biological type with a physical presence, and humans as the bearer of thought and data. With the help of the acquired experience in the scientific field, we will be able to understand the idea of post-humanism by manipulating our own biomaterial and fixing the changes, and then turning them into data, in analogy with the teleportation of material into the material and the transformation of the biological into digital. In this project, the art object is our biomaterials, which will become publicly available at the end of the research.

  • We believe in the limitless possibilities of healing through art and art therapy.

  • We believe in the limitless possibilities and transcendent power of science.

  • We believe in the polyphony of art and science.

  • We believe in the interconnectedness between science and art.

  • We believe in compromise and collaboration between humanitarians and exact sciences.