To 13 Hertz

I am not sure whether I was asleep or awake: perhaps somewhere in between? Perhaps the excitement of the discovery of the unexpected would inevitably be auspicious: no discoverer sets out on his journey, in the quest of luck and serendipity. Purposefully walking off the beaten track, he will tread on so many fruitless roads. Searches are left unfinished that often seem pointless. But searching high and low for meaning is the incessant struggle of man to draw closer to that mysterious something. Would it still be worth looking for if it was not strange? Drifting apart from the familiarity of everyday experiments with these unfamiliar images, we step into a familiar vagueness. As if unearthed by excavation, the apparently random images stand before your mind’s eyes: similar to the bizarre symmetrical inkblots of a psychological test with general vagueness that nevertheless contain information of a particular yet peculiar entity that exists curiously on the edge. Without imagination we are threatened by a danger so much graver than the perils of imagining the seemingly unattainable.

Alpha: Yeah! Now I remember. When was it? Yeah… the same day that the…
Theta: Let me first get out of these trees…
Alpha: Watch out! Mind those pipes, lest they fall!
Theta: It’s so cold out here!
Alpha: It’s dry lead! What an image! Fabulous! I was saying—I mean the day in the jungle—I told you, you should have clutched the bird’s throat…
Theta: That fool does not understand a dammed thing! Look at it! Sitting there talking craaa…
Alpha: This is the way you should do it. I saw it the other night; it ate up everything on your desk. It was…
Theta: Imagine that!? Everything has been written before!
Alpha: Ok. Calm down! These trees smell like…
Theta: We’ll talk about that too. Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Alpha: Blow! Blow to warm up your hands… (In the third phase, you have to bring out your avatar like a yogi: time travel!)… See what nonsense is written here…
Theta: Oh, I almost forgot! A while ago, I got it busted one night: I caught it and clutched its throat. It was about to prick me with its beak… then it started to throw up.
Alpha: We’ll get there in half an hour I reckon. It took a tad more this time.
Theta: I told you more… more time…
Alpha: Cut it! Give me your hand! Come on! I like that corner over there. It looks cozy. Behind those ferns…
Theta: You’ve made me curious, can I see it? Aha! A second and then it vanished… Up, down, 1174, up, nut, screw, screw, and nut… wait, wait…
Alpha: Hey! Don’t fall asleep! The smell of the trees again … It drives me crazy!
Theta: Damn it! That creep stopped over there! I cannot bear its stupid face!
Alpha: Come! Come on up! Get in the car!
Alpha: Aha! Well done! I like that curiosity! What a good noise! This sound is great! But I feel for you…
Alpha’s Mind: Where did Hall want to go? The yellow rays of light passed through that cavity and touched my face. While I was staring at the ornaments of the tower, I realized I was underground too…
Hall: Yeah! Right!
Alpha’s Mind: What a beautiful symmetry! It’s Outstanding! Fabulous! It occurred to me that the entry to that tunnel of sound is the beginning of falling into the dark tunnels of the center of the earth… no, I am making a mistake here.
Hall: Yeah! Right!
Alpha’s Mind: He said he was in a different planet. So, one can travel through time!
Alpha: What?! You’re back?! What happened? Did you see it?
Theta: Yes! All of them were sitting in the middle of those horsetails. It was there too! Sad, without a sound, with its beak opened; it opened its chest…
Alpha: The same old thing, huh?
Theta: Yeah, but that funnel caught my atten…
Alpha: Wait a minute! It is coming! Let’s talk about it later…
Theta: These pipes are very cold! Very… very…
Alpha: Blow! Blow on your hands and rub them together!
Theta: Want a puff of…?
Alpha: Maybe later… Do not forget the propeller, the belt and the washers! Wash them all! Clean! Tonight we’ll finally be off. We must go! Catch you later then…
Theta: Later… later… You make me sick! Don’t repeat yourself!
Alpha’s Mind: A door to one of the tunnels will be opened… the flooding of the fish… rotation, rotation, rotation.
Theta: Count them!
Alpha: 227.
Theta: A prime number again! Ha-ha! Excellent!
Hall: Yeah! Right!
Alpha: Aha! So you saw that funnel?
Alpha’s Mind: It is as if that old plant is fermenting in my arms! Rotation of the fish: They are constantly increasing! I am blown up like a balloon! Full of oil… I’m heavy… I’m subsiding… echo in the funnel… the fish, rotation, rotation, the fish! I’m subsiding! I’m heavy! Subsiding…

The dialogues, in this story, have happend in the brain’s frequency (consciousness) of someone in dreams and the Hall’s character is the sound of the atmosphere that the story is taken place in. (The brain’s frequency of an awake person is usally twenty cycles per second. the frequencies over 14 cycles per second are called Beta which is for connecting with the physical world outside and for connecting with time and place or using natural senses, but brain has other frequencies that have lower cycles in comparison with Beta and they are Alpha, Theta and Delta respectively. However, Theta and Delta frequencies are not for physical world’s connections and we only use them when we are not aware of time and place. These frequencies are used for dreaming, soul connection and intuition that are related to our inner consciousness.)

This is not necessarily a statement! This is more of a tribute to an intellectual existence that I believe is on the verge of oblivion and I think Amir-Nasr’s exhibition has provided me with the opportunity.
This paragraph is not meant to be a complement and is by no means logrolling!
This paragraph is an honest confession, honoring a man for whom art goes beyond the generally superficial status of today’s art in Iran and, at least so far, I have most clearly perceived one of the most sincere forms of encountering the existence and consequently the art in Amir-Nasr’s artistic behavior and day to day life, although I have only recently got the chance to know him personally, making friends with him has been very precious to me and I rather not talk about it much longer!
But I am certain that knowing Amir-Nasr and his works is an opportunity that I shall seize…

“The world is not something that can be described from only one view-point.” —Niklas Luhmann, Berlin, 1992

I believe that reading the works of Amir-Nasr without regarding Luhmann’s systems theory is as if being disrespectful to them. His works develop in this context, or at least that’s how I see them; and the many similar aspects of the works to systems theory makes them wonderfully more profound. For instance, the fundamental difference between the system and the environment can be traced in what is clearly seen in both the details and the form of the works as a whole. Luhman’s theory about the society is functionally dissociated while it is a theory about modernity. Just as Luhmann believed that the world cannot be described from only one view-point, Amir-Nasr’s ruthless attack to the achemedic point can be understood. He clearly emphasizes that the society and the categories on the whole cannot be perceived and depicted from a singular, central point. And adopting a privileged and extra terrestrial vantage point is for him out of the question. Amir-Nasr’s aesthetic from of choice (in drawings, in technical form, in presentation and even in choosing the materials) is based on an obsessive intricacy and elegance and even an engineer’s attitude of a researcher that discovers the world with proven strategies. His message is: the fundamental discourses based on existential, metaphysical, physical, anthropological, historical, philosophical and inter-subjective preliminaries mostly refer to description and simplification of the self that ought to be explained functionally. And this is exactly what the systems theory is trying to explain. In this sense, Amir-Nasr’s imaginary language is chosen incredibly wisely and functionally and can be understood in causal relation to the concepts hidden in his works.
In order to describe his world and images, Amir-Nasr does not make use of superfluidity of signs and symbols—quite the contrary, he organizes his works with just a few simple yet profound and intricate elements. It is his unique capability that has turned symbols such as humans, animals, nature, industry, engine designs etc. into concepts that, according to systems theory, are referred to not as causations, inferences or determinations but as mental efforts to put the concepts in a sound relation to each other so that they can be limited or illuminated in a mind-boggling process. In this sense, with putting the concepts together as a collage, then going beyond the sociological implications of the collage, and also by emphasizing on the independence of the concepts, he arrives at a more general form which can lay the foundation for a more refined existence.

“The concept of function is independent from safeguarding the self and the other!” —Harro Müller

With a little attention, Amir-Nasr’s wonderful interpretation of the tradition can be recognized in his works; for instance, his careful study of traditional patterns of Persian carpets or traditional architecture and urban plans and even Persian paintings and miniatures, which by the way is not a new thing! Many of his talented and not-so-talented fellow artists have tried their hands at these subjects. What makes Amir-Nasr different is his approach: he makes use of the most unlikely and indirect language possible to achieve his goal and I think he has not wasted his innovation and effort. And once again this is close to the systems theory; according to Luhmann: “Seek theories that succeed in explaining the normal as improbable.” The insights of this observation can be truly seen in Amir-Nasr’s works. In other words, function for him is closely connected to the decadence of the obvious and the conventional and to make them look unreal. He has not looked into those things like his other shallow contemporaries, rather, with a great sensitivity, he has endeavored to find a functional equivalent for them. In this sense, the value of the function of things is not for instance in the moral realms in order to safeguard them, but for him function is the reduction of the threshold of the complexity of this world.
Instead of trying in vain to establish his ideas by increasing the threshold of falsifiability of things, he abides as a genuine artist in his quiet and friendly studio in a corner of the huge city, listens to some of the world’s best music and in a difficult, manual, drudgery and utterly complex process, tries to decrease the threshold of complexity of the world and I believe that with the likes of him the world is a better place to live.

Amirhossein Bayani
January, 2014, Tehran

Time Capsule
To 13 Hertz
Capturing Friction
Single Works