solutions / 溶质
Weixin Quek Chong and Pauline Emond for KOMPLOT, Brussels 2019
In this collaborative work, we looked into research interests from our individual practices. Crystallisation with sugar, after a traditional French method of candy-making, was something we were both interested in using to make art and for this show we used the method to crystallise gargantuan sunflowers grown in rural Belgium as well as orchids from a farm in Singapore.
"The main themes we identify about this continuous work are changed forms, changed status, underlined by colonisation and other imported influences. Made for eating, yet impossible to eat. Preserved in a precarious way, made for consumption but uncanny (orchids are not typically eaten). "
Our second underlying theme was that of the main raw materials used in the making of a computer processor - the largest component of which is silica or sand.
"In trying to understand computers starting from their most simple elements, the history of colonisation is once again unavoidable, from the source and extraction of materials and minerals to the labour chains which assemble the final forms of these machines. Computers are a conduit of power that stand for way more than their material forms. Their existence is almost like a spell, similar to how witches/shamans were said to have turned powders and fluids into powerful spells.
From the point of view of not understanding, we want to infiltrate their inner and organic existence."
A sound piece for the show included recorded organic and mechanical sounds (typing, scrolling, purring); acting as a lung or cadence of breathing in the space. A tank of blue Bunga Telang (butterfly pea flower) extract had a naturally artificial hue, a liquid hard drive amid the wasting organic fragments.