The Library of Fallen Tears

Digital Resonance @ Gwangju Media Art Platform G.MAP
30 March – 29 June 2022

The How We Never Cry Alone series seeks to equip humanity for survival on the damaged multi-species planet in constant crisis, conflicts and uncertainty.

The Library of Fallen Tears is a teardrop filled with vials of dried tear microbiome hanging above the pool of water. The artwork employs hydrofeminist powers of forging relations and situates human beings in the world entangled with Others, beyond the individual, personal, isolated existence. The Library of Fallen Tears intends to show how radical vulnerability yields connections and how Others emerge as a communities when we stay with the troubles and pains of interconnected living. Though the Others in The Library of Fallen Tears installation are microbial, they imply an expanded understanding of Others as all that is not Us – all the invisible, ignored, oppressed, forgotten, disregarded and neglected humans and other-than-humans alike. The Others in our tears are thus not only microbial on a material plane, but also leave traces on the emotional plane. Once we extend our compassions beyond the idea of Us and feel wider ecological grief the sufferings of Others can become reasons for our falling tears.

For Namida, the girl in the video story, The Library of Fallen Tears is a way to collect and store, to identify the tears and remember, encapsulate the experience. On the one hand the pool of water commemorates the moment when the crying person comprehends that there is life beyond the tears. On the other hand the water provides a possibility of revival of the stored lyophilised tear microbial communities. The pool brings the notion of impermanence to the installation, acknowledging that nothing is isolated and any conservation will at some point in [deep] time give in to inevitable transformation. Live life beyond the tears.

Colophon

Saša Spačal – The Library of Fallen Tears
A work from the How We Never Cry Alone Series

Commisioned for Digital Resonance, the inaugural exhibition of the Gwangju Media Art Platform (G.MAP)

Curators: Seungah Lee, Jyeongyeon Kim
Assistant Curators: Malgeum Kim, Hyunjeoung Moon

Microbiologist: Mirjan Švagelj, PhD
Architect: Blaž Šolar
Glassblower: Zvonko Drobnič
Assembly: Kisoon Eom

Production: Urban Art Lab Seoul and Projekt Atol

Bio

Saša Spačal is a postmedia artist working at the intersection of living systems research, contemporary and sound art. Her work focuses primarily on the posthuman condition, where human beings exist and act as one of many elements in the ecosystem and not as sovereigns. Therefore abandoning the Cartesian system of classification and accepting the fact that the field of technology has expanded not only from hardware to software but also to wetware resulting in hybrid phenomena inscribed in mechanical, digital and organic logic.
Her work was exhibited and performed at venues and festivals such as Ars Electronica Festival (AT), Prix Cube Exhibition (FR), Transmediale Festival (DE), Athens Digital Arts Festival (GR), Perm Museum of Contemporary Art (RUS), Onassis Cultural Center Athens (GR), Chronos Art Center (CHN), Eyebeam (USA), Cynetart Festival (DE), National Art Museum of China (CHN), Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (SI), Kapelica Gallery (SI), Device_art (CRO), Art Laboratory Berlin (DE), Kiblix Festival (SI), Gallery of Contemporary Art Celje (SI), Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina (SRB), Lisboa Soa Festival (PT), Sonica Festival (SI). She was awarded Prix Ars Electronica Honorary Mention, nominated for Prix Cube and New Technology Art Award.

Saša Spačal