Aqua Alta

The Allegory of the Wave

Posted on: Mon, 2014-05-05 17:55   By: glue

The heuretic project is to do for Electracy what Plato did for Literacy.  The exercise is to propose a "text" to function as an allegory of our metaphysics, the way the Allegory of the Cave functioned in Plato's oeuvre.  The proposed (found) electrate allegory is by Jana Sterbak.
Jana Sterbak
Ours is a found allegory.  We take no credit for it, but appropriate it from the video installation, based on one created for the Canadian exposition at the Venice Biennale (2003), made with Stanley the dog. Sterbak gained international recognition with her Flesh Dress (a dress made of meat).  Franc Fernandez, who designed the meat dress worn by Lady Gaga in 2010, must have gotten the idea from Sterbak?  The Canadian installation was entitled "From Here to There."  She fitted her Jack russell Terrier puppy, Stanley, with a miniature video camera (attached to his head), then took him for a walk at two locations: a trail along the St. Lawrence River in Canada; Venice in winter.  In this first version Stanley was allowed to explore on his own. The original idea to have Stanley play guide animal to the blindfolded artist was abandoned. The low POV shot recorded whatever attracted the terrier's attention, which had everything to do with smell and nothing to do with tourism or history.  The footage was heavily treated in post-production. Waiting for High Water is the title of a sequel, 2004, a French exhibition.  Stanley, this time with three head-mounted mini-cams, was walked on a leash during the winter "acqua alta" period in Venice.  The exhibition included a catalog contribution by Hubert Damisch. 

Waiting for High Water


 Apparatus Package
The Allegory of the Cave is a mise-en-abyme (miniaturization) embedded within an expanding series of settings that must also be invented.  The Allegory of the Wave functions as the device that in Shakespeare's Hamlet is called "the mouse trap" -- the play presented to the King performing the murder scene as the ghost described it to Hamlet, to probe for guilt.  The challenge is to construct the correspondences, from the microcosm to the macrocosm, to provide for ourselves a guide for electrate justice, and beyond that, to the new thinking, doing, and making relevant to all the virtues of global citizenship.