Aura Garden 2021 - copyright Chris Golden

synthesis gallery presents ‘THE FLOWERS I HAVE NEVER SEEN IN MY GARDEN’

The flowers I have never seen in my garden is a digital exhibition featuring works by Chris Golden, Sabrina Ratté, Mohsen Hazrati, and Lauren Moffatt. Constructed in the free-floating space of Mozilla Hubs, the works on view utilize this programmable backdrop to examine how gardens might appear in the wake of ecological and social cataclysms.

Aura Garden II 2021 – copyright Chris Golden

These flowers, the works on view, are not invisible, so much as hypothetical, speculative. Each work contributed, each virtual garden plot, extends into all the others, creating a network of virtual pathways that unfold sequentially, like the illustrations of an idea that is carefully trying to prove itself.

The exhibition does not claim to be an online gallery space, or even a three- dimensional archive, but acts more like a herbarium populated with anthropomorphized flora. A kind of new world is invoked where mechanism and finality mingle, not in the manner of a futuristic cyborg, but in a way where human history and natural history as we know them overgrow into a parallel reality that shares the same concerns as ours. Questions of ecological preservation, identity and its relationship to memory, and the threat of mass extinction are duly addressed. Only here, the familiar solutions offered by our world are placed in parentheses.

Chris Golden’s Aura Garden, for example, treats of memory – only here memory is invaded by a sort of aural shimmer that translates the dynamics of floral growth into a psychedelic reflection of the calmness in nature. Through a mingling of visuality and sound, the viewer is confronted by the notion that “moments”, even at their most epiphanic, are nothing more than contingent human constructs.

Compost XIV – The Third Moon (Flowers for Suzanne Clair) II 2021 – copyright Lauren Moffatt

Sabrina Ratté’s Floralia offers a speculative natural history through a graduated and precise process of segmentation and reconstruction. Simulating the fusion of technology and organic matter, the work plunges the viewer into a speculative future, where samples of extinct plant species are preserved and displayed in a virtual archive room. Through editing and visual strategies, this archive room is sporadically transformed under the effect of interference caused by the memory emanating from the listed plants, revealing traces of the past that continue to haunt the present.

Mohsen Hazrati, the architect of this Hubs environment, uses the utopian space of the virtual to revisit the history of technology. Taking the ancient Iranian innovation of using wine and other stringents (lemons, vinegar) to generate small volts of electricity, Hazrati has realized a 3D recreation of this pioneering ancient technology. The fruits that spark this device to life are wholly virtual, but have a practical, effective existence within an imaginarium modeled to look like a garden.

FLORALIA-IIIa-2021 – copyright Sabrina Ratte

Lauren Moffatt, for her contribution, plays off of the tension that obtains between augmented reality and virtual reality. Her Flowers for Suzanne Clair (named after a secondary character in J. G. Ballard’s disaster fiction novel The Crystal World) creates a strange type of organic digitality which pivots on a process of collecting and digitizing plant specimens through an exchange between the physical and the virtual. Fusing photographic details of flowers with aleatory textures, these fictive plant species are windows to alterity glimpsed through a prism of biological life.

Staging, ultimately, is essential to what is happening throughout The flowers I have never seen in my garden. Looking at the the digital species the show models itself around, history itself becomes heavy with an unsettling inertia; and the concept of “nature” becomes mechanized to a point where we can almost peer past it, towards a sentient nothingness that defies the logic of temporal descriptors.

Perception of Wine 2022- copyright Mohsen Hazrati

The flowers I have never seen in my garden is curated and designed by George Vitale (synthesis gallery) and produced by Cosmic Rays.

CHRIS GOLDEN (b. 1988, GBR, chrisgolden.art) is a digital artist exploring the energy and vibration of this world. His work focuses on synthesizing a meditative-psychedelic perspective through colour and form. Chris presents a spectrum of projects across physical and digital planes that shares a visual way of being. A reminder of our energy that resides within.

MOHSEN HAZRATI (b. 1987, IRN, mohsenhazrati.com) graduated with a BA in graphic design from Shiraz Art Institute of Higher Education in 2012, minoring in new media and digital art. His works focus on literature and digital technologies. In 2013 together with Milad Forouzande, Hazrati founded “Dar- AlHokoomeh Project”: a new media art curatorial project based in Shiraz, Iran.

LAUREN MOFFATT (b. 1987, AUS, www.deptique.net) is an Australian artist working with immersive environments and experimental narrative practices. Her works, often presented in hybrid and iterative forms, explore the paradoxical subjectivity of connected bodies and the indistinct boundaries between digital and organic life.

SABRINA RATTÉ (b. 1982, CAN, sabrinaratte.com) is an artist living between Montreal and Marseille. Her practice includes video, animation, installations, sculptures, audio-visual performances, prints and Virtual Reality. Mixing analog technologies, photography and 3D animation, she investigates the influence of digital and physical spaces and the interplay between these surroundings and subjectivity.

FLORALIA-II-2021 – copyright Sabrina Ratte

COSMIC RAYS is an organization based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina that supports the promotion and diffusion of innovative film, video, and digital media art through public screenings, live performance, and gallery exhibition.

synthesis gallery is an immersive blend of technology and art displayed under one roof, showcasing cutting-edge experiences by new wave artists and visionaries through virtual and augmented reality. Dedicated to exhibiting internationally renowned, well-established artists alongside emerging ones, since its inception, synthesis has garnered considerable attention in the art scene.

Opening: March 24, 2022 – 7pm CET
Exhibition: March 24, 2022 – June 23, 2022
Private Tour: email to register, +49 176 325 10217
Online venue: hubs.mozilla.com/vA8xeJa / (activated on March 24th)