Selected Excerpts from Jan Vorisek: Image Distortion Continuum

In anticipation of Jan Vorisek’s solo exhibition at Swiss Institute in January 2021, SI is pleased to share documentation of his current exhibition solo exhibition, Collapse Poem, at Kunsthaus Glarus, and an excerpt from Vorisek’s artist book, Image Distortion Continuum, published on its occasion.  Please click each image to enlarge.

Judith Welter, curator of Collapse Poem, writes: “Collapse Poem forms two interrelated spatial settings. It is not clear whether the collapse is imminent or is already in the past. Collapsing and rebuilding themselves, reified in rotating apparatus and layered building blocks, are two material mechanisms that form the motor of the various structures in the exhibition…Vorisek’s unstable spatial installations are subject to a theatrical temporality. His atmospheric assemblages of used, found, and industrial materials as well as sound-generating devices, reflect on the circulation of recycled and, here, borrowed materials and sound.”


Feedback and Distortion – two inextricably connected phenomena – weave information in on themselves and extend back into the body that they originate from, so it appears they overwrite precisely that body they once stood beside. To grasp such abstract matter, in the same way one names a demon in order to control him, is a futile effort, that devours the one who wants to bring order to the labyrinthine. At best or worst, it is a diversion – another feedback circuit between the reader and this arguably psychotic matter.

This artist book consists of personal notes on theory, politics, art, it features an interview with musician Chino Amobi, free writing, non-rational poetry, photography and cut up techniques that are placed into a layout that doesn’t prioritize. Notes are broken down, synthesized and interspersed with fiction. Arranged as an open system, it requires engagement from the outside to produce output. Fields of interest include  pattern-detection, disorder, distortion, dystopia, inside jobs, onticide, love… The amateur is not to be confused with the fool when he travels from informal to formal, from rage to rave, from fiction to fact, and back in reverse. They are driven by an almost political stance against the forms associated with mastership and have no interest in their reproduction. In a hoarding of substance, conclusions pop up in the middle of nowhere and arguments disappear at random. With every step of accumulated writing, new relationships begin to form while others wither away, grow redundant, or add nothing but the noise, gaps, and confusion they originate from. Black Holes swallow everything within a certain proximity, translate everything into the radiation they emit.

“science fiction doesn’t predict the future, it determines it, colonizes it, pre-programs it in the image of the present ”  – William Gibson

Those contradictions are an essential interest here, one that observes distortion and how bodies and minds deal with those altering signals. Are humans aware of colonizing different spheres or do these spheres in return guide their behavior, shaped by something more animalistic than rational? The animate vs the inanimate?  What kind of temporality has culture in contrast to technology, and which creation informs the other? How is it possible to build relationships towards complex systems that follow their own false beliefs, or logics that are based in space-time of global consumer culture? Do we inhabit a utopia, dystopia or both in equal effects?


And then….. the sirens started. Every night, for months now. Their laser sharp frequency cutting through the LED induced smog of blistering decay.
A vast landscape of canyons formed by building units. Slumbering darkness. The updates for the hearing aid filter, Sirens Night Shifts™, couldn’t be downloaded in certain proof of location chained zones.
No expression against silence, a nightmare not fully remembered.

Dream warfare is now in full effect. Mission control. Sleeper cells awake in systematic patterns. The new series of neuropathy pills, inducing hallucinations of mass traumatic events, work only by blood moon or during temporal illusions, like stream time manipulations.

…AI drills with lubricated agility, absorbing and deflecting any backsplash. “Ah, yesterday those lumpy noise Inter-Explant mixed all the sections up again” – “wait what…?” “Yeah, like it did during the silver chrome spill” Emily, with a pissed voice she secretly sampled from the dude that stores her slime fetish collection: ”HEY HEY, BACK UPPPP”. A blur of motions and it takes only a couple bits and seconds to transfer the freezers into the right accounts. No pain, a clean pattern, slippy membrane. Chromium plated teeth – Transparent skull /// Cum filled latex veins. – “no, I mean – do you still believe in that porn conspiracy real estate hoaxxx?” – “huh?”. “Ah damn, I send you these downtown fried orchid samples” “Purple?” – “No, it’s much better and works more like those herbal metanoia parasites” Sandra wonders: “no pain, no swollen eyes, and all that booger?” a truck is passing by ”ugh, check this – black market rated cloud trance compilation”.

– Jan Vorisek

Originally published in Jan Vorisek: Image Distorition Continuum on the occasion of Jan Vorisek: Collapse Poem (Kunsthause Glarus, Glarus, 2020). Images: Jan Vorisek, Devotion Strategy, 2020 (left). Jan Vorisek, Collapse Poem, 2020, installation view (right) Photos by Gunnar Meier.

Jan Vorisek’s solo exhibition will open at SI in January 2021.