(Above: Stills from FINAL MACHINE, 2013, by Amanda Beech)
FINAL MACHINE is a major new three-channel video and architectural installation by Amanda Beech. It continues Beech’s examination into the nexus of art, politics, fiction and philosophy, and interrogates the realist status of the image and the contract this holds with systems of power.
FINAL MACHINE pushes the viewer through the gallery space, into a choreography of sound, visuals and physical forms and steers them under a relentless narrative of indoctrination. The audience is coerced through a formal coded system where the video manifests as architectural form. Three walls: Three ‘circle’ zones; from red, to yellow and then to green.
The video draws us into a journey with no future; a constant working upon a claustrophobic present. It navigates the wasteland of the Mojave Desert, targeted shots of arcane edifices in dense jungle landscapes, trailing cars through night-time Miami and is intersected by serene and balletic graphic imagery and abrupt aggressive ‘bullet points’. Together, the visual material emphasizes the groundless and mobile force of the negotiated image.
The metronomic tempo of the imagery is pervaded by a persistent pragmatic voice that locks the work into a hallucinatory steroid reality. The narrative interlocks the sensations of thrilling rhetorics that draw from Louis Althusser’s lecture series ‘Philosophy and The Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists’ (1968), the prose of CIA recruitment lectures, tales of the high stakes games of undercover special agents, and our obsession with reality. Together these coalesce as an experience and an interrogation of force.
The work questions dogmatically and directly: How it is possible to engage art as a site of realism that would annihilate our faith in the art and politics that we know as our bad habit?
FINAL MACHINE confronts the problem of how to predicate a politics (and an art) that is recalcitrant to its own ideological systems. The imagery, voice and political coordinates drive us towards the affects of a new dogma of life without order: A life where order is no longer sought and never existed in the first place.
Alongside the exhibition, the publication FINAL MACHINE will be available as a limited print edition from Urbanomic Press. The publication is a compendium of writing and images that respond to a selection of Beech’s works from the past ten years, and includes a foreword by Robin Mackay and new essays by Reza Negarestani and Bridget Crone.