Cloud of Petals
Sarah Meyohas

October 12th - December 10th, 2017
Red Bull Arts
New York

For Cloud of Petals, 3,289 of these painstakingly preserved rose petals are fashioned into a mosaic as part of a large architectural intervention. The archival wall reads as an elite rose petal taxonomy, funneling the viewer into the auditorium where the artist’s 30-minute 16mm film of the performance art piece shot on 16mm at Bell Labs, plays on a loop. In the main gallery, four ominous sculptures loom, dotting the large space like standing alien sarcophagi. Suspended within these tombs are vitange telecommunication artifacts encased in modular steel panels, each element salvaged by the artist from Bell Labs. Meyohas integrates an infinity mirror, a device she’s employed throughout her practice, as an infinite call and response where the boundaries of time and space seem unending. Lastly, visitors encounter the exhibition’s VR component: a series of gaze-based experiences that manipulates this organic data set for the viewer’s pleasure, featuring new, uniquely generated petals using AI and the 100,000 picture data set.

While the artist gestures toward lingering social commentaries relating to what has been traditionally associated with women’s work versus men’s work, ­the exhibition becomes a site for contemplation about a post-human reality and the future of labor in the face of automation. Meyohas serves up a weighty conceit, sincerely formalist in her intentions, yet rooted in a scientific rigor that suggests a certain faith in the potential of what is to come.