ISSRE Presentations




A Speculative Performance Presented by The Institute of Super-Species Research and Experimentation



Paola Di Tolla, Encyclopedic Sound Score: Audible Tracings from Pliny The Elder's Natural History, 78 AD (2019), 5:00, mp3


March 27th, 2019, 7:00 PM BRIC House Stoop, 647 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217.  In this performance piece, a group of distinguished pseudoscientific specialists assemble to conduct and report their research on a series of strange and miraculous beasts reminiscent of those described and illustrated within Pliny the Elder’s Natural History written 77-79AD. Drawing from the fantastical worlds of medieval bestiaries while employing the methods of 20th century behavioralists and circus performers, the group of specialists work toward imagining alternatives for surviving in a climate that no longer supports our current human physiology. The specialists, Nikki Calonge, Simone Kearney, Hanna Novak, Emily Reilly, Emily Taibleson and Paola Di Tolla are all performers and artists in their own right with distinct and authentic practices and were commissioned by artist and director Laura Bernstein to produce content under the auspices of their assigned characters. This program took place in conjunction with the BRIC Biennial: Volume III, South Brooklyn Edition, On view through April 7th, 2019.  This work was made possible, in part, by the Franklin Furnace Fund supported by the Jerome Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.

A Speculative Performance Presented by The Institute of Super-Species Research and Experimentation with works and performances by:

Laura Bernstein as Producer and Director of The Institute of Super-Species Research and Experimentation (ISSRE)-------Author of Primer Video (ISSRE), 4:50 HD video (color) 2019, artist and designer of wearable sculptures and costumes. 

Nikki Calonge as P.T. Trainer---------------Choreographer, Make Into Pets, March 23, 2023AD (2019), Body and flight.

Simone Kearney as MC16c--------Author of Visions of The Strange and Miraculous 1111 CE, (2019), Falcon feather, Ink spat from the ass of a bird, parchment paper.

Hanna Novak as Hybrid S.P.----------------Author of Last Love Letter to Pliny the Elder (2019), stylus on wax tablet, archival transfer to iMac, Final Cut Pro 10.

Last Love Letter to Pliny the Elder (2019) from LRB on Vimeo.


Emily Reilly as Pseudoscientist ER87-----------------Dramaturg and Author of Schematic Analysis Figures I--IV, 2040, (2019), science from the future.

Paola Di Tolla as Pliny-------------Author of Encyclopedic Sound Score: Audible Tracings from Pliny The Elder's Natural History, 78 AD (2019), 5:00, mp3.

Emily Taibleson as ISSRE Field Researcher and Illustrator----------Author of Bio Chakra Evolutionary Anatomy Paintings: Figure I Sciapode, Figure II Shakespeare's Horny, Figure III Panotti, Figure IV The Molting of Hazmats, (2019), 9" x 12" watercolor and ink on paper, scanned for digital projection.

Photographer: Maria Baranova-Suzuki
Videographer: Rebecca Rom-Frank and David Sherman

This program took place in conjunction with the BRIC Biennial: Volume III, South Brooklyn Edition
This work was made possible, in part, by the Franklin Furnace Fund supported by Jerome Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.















These video recordings capture creatures posing, preening, courting and marking their territory within various natural environments. The video was taken by a group of scientists called the Super-species Hazmat (“S-s H”). Within these moving images, we see evidence of S-s H and their interjections. S-s H is a community devoted to conducting cross-disciplinary tests between humans and beasts, basing their scientific method on medieval (pre-enlightenment) modes of thought. Tests are performed with the intention to create a hybrid creature-like species capable of adapting to survive the Age of No Ozone.
The anatomical anomalies of the forms derived from these ancient and medieval bodies confuse distinctions between the domestic and the wild. What was produced from the earth, and what was created through conflations of the imagination? What is real and what is imaginary? When does something become real? What if bodies in the future look like bodies from the past?
Through genetic engineering, we have the capacity to create such hybrid species. Half human, half creature, these forms recall the fantastical beasts recorded by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, 77—79 AD, and later produced in the Nuremberg Chronicle, written by Hartmann Schedel and published in 1493. Pliny’s Natural History records the traits and functions of a number of creatures through text and illustration.
The shape of these bodies--captured on film--cause speculation on how the landscape might change and how the anatomy and physiology of our bodies may need to adapt and change to withstand environmental elements. These forms draw from the past while projecting onto the future, reflecting our own emotional state of unknowing while asking: "what makes something human?".

Bestial Field Recordings: 2015-2018

Lighthouse Works Residency, Fisher’s Island, NY









lecture, Super-Species Hazmat (S-s H) RA87,


Napolean, Philadelphia, PA






S-sH reproduction of creatures from grotto III of Vesuvius 79 BCE

2017 
Past Myth, Future Form, ART LOT, outdoor sculpture show with Anna Tsouhlarakis. Curated by Aimee Burg and Natalia Zubko, Brooklyn, NY

Panotti, Mirror, The Imaginary

2017

4:15 Three-channel video, sculpture  installation (color, sound). Dimensions variable. 
Papier-machet, Tyvek, fake teeth, fake eyelashes, sculpey, plastic, wire, wood. Tv monitors, headphones, wooden bench. 
the barometric pressure is all over the place, with Daniel Glendenning, Anytime Dept., Cincinnati, OH





3D Model of Shakespeare’s Horny Head I

2017
Plaster, burlap, plastic, paraffin, steel piping, acrylic paint, paper; with (SH) Hoop Jump I, 3:20 HD video (color, sound).  
Word to the Wise, ACRE projects Space, curated by Ann Meisinger, Chicago, IL







Molted Shell of Sciapode watching a video of Sciapodae


2017
Molted shell of Sciapode watching a video of Sciapodae is a vignette exploring the evolutionary anatomy of the Sciapode and its ecological relationship to the world. First described in the Natural History written by the Roman statesman Pliny The Elder in (77) AD, the Sciapode has one foot, which extends from the center of its body and is used to shade its body from the sun. The video footage captures observations made by a group of scientists called the Super-species Hazmat (S-s H). S-s H is a community devoted to conducting cross-disciplinary tests between humans and beasts. Tests are performed with the intention to create a hybrid creature-like species capable of adapting to survive the Age of No Ozone (AONO). S-s Hazmat bases their scientific methods on pre-enlightenment (medieval) modes of thought.



3:50 HD video (color, sound) on loop
Sculpture; wood, wire mesh, iron pipes, plaster, burlap, felted wool, papier-mâché, mixed paper, plastic, laminated illustration of Google image search Sciapode.

5’ H x 2.5’ W x 4’ L


Molted Shell of Sciapode watching a video of Sciapodae

The Sciapodae's Tomato from LRB on Vimeo.
Mark
www.rarabernstein.com