Portals, Throughways

A series of embroidered paintings, digital hand drawings, and digital animations, 2022-

The body of work Portals, Throughways encompasses embroidered oil paintings, digital hand drawings, and moving images in combination with and/or inspired by algorithmically generated imagery. The series explores the passage of time and how our experience of it can be disrupted or dislocated by sudden, profound transformations in technological, political, or environmental landscapes.

Portals transport us from one reality, or one state of being or understanding, to another. They are antithetical to any notions of a chronological, objective idea of ‘progress’. Rather, they are connections between moments of possibility and parallel paths that are arranged in a quantum formation: interfaces between the past/present and the future; they are intersections that shunt us from one pathway to another, disrupting our sense of continuous, chronological momentum.

In this sense, portals also contradict futurist, accelerationist modes of thinking that view time and development as inexhorably speeding up towards some theoretical asymptote or singularity. Accelerationism builds in powerlessness because it assumes that the path is pre-defined and the speed of travel always increasing, whereas portals represent myriad possible deviations from the current course; a decision tree of interdependent and infinitely layered speculative futures. Using a portal, or even recognising one, requires us to release ideas of linear logic and categorisable heirarchies of knowledge. Portals compel us to relearn thinking in a way that is both futuristic (quantum) and ancient (cosmological).

On another plane, portals can show us the throughlines between vast, complex, seemingly disparate systems; the entanglements between nature, culture, and technology. This is a form of tentacular thinking, both in the way that it expands, connects, and grasps, but also in the sense that it embodies thinking in a multifaceted/multi-limbed manner; a gestalt; something more than the strictures of centralised (Cartesian) intelligence.

Hyperconnection, School of Digital Arts, curated by Mimi Nguyen / Verse, Manchester, 2023
Contemporary Istanbul art fair, Yvonne Hohner Contemporary, Istanbul, 2023
Glimmer Shrine, Tang Contemporary, curated by Charlotte Lin, Hong Kong, 2022
The digital animation and limited edition art poster Portal was commissioned by the WELT AM SONNTAG in collaboration with Office Impart
Selected photos courtesy of Tang Contemporary, Hong Kong
The writing and thinking of Dani Admiss was essential in the development of this work.