The third edition of objects brought together on Accessible Objects is “2123: Naïve Futures.” 2123 marks the date of the show’s launch on February 1, 2023, as well as the re-emergence of Accessible Objects after a period of quiet. But it also signifies a year that is exactly 100 years in the future. If the past century has been marked by technological innovation, unfettered political and economic growth, and a rapidly changing relationship between humans and their environments, one can only guess with wonder and trepidation at what the next century will bring.
These eight works explore the question of future through a critical duality. A palpable awareness of industrial methods, digital dependencies, and algorithmic gameplay threads through the works and coexists with a subtle rejection of the same. Some creators allow naturalistic growths to subsume industrially fabricated commodities or materials. Some bring humor and nostalgia, memorializing youthful games, recontextualizing old technologies, or fossilizing technology outright. And others implement iconic forms and primal mark-making strategies to propose a return to more naive ways of seeing and interacting with the world. If our world today feels pervaded by technology, increasingly more ephemeral and transient, the creators of “2123: Naïve Futures” propose a different vision for our future. By introspecting on the play of childhood, the wildness of nature, and the darkness of beginnings, their objects express an unspoken, atavistic desire for the years ahead to contain a return to a more innocent past.
Elias Båth sculpts furniture out of the industrial waste of Sweden’s Smedjebackens steel furnaces, memorializing the material’s journey from the Kiruna mines.
Théodore Vadot grafts textures from a tree trunk, sponges, bubble wrap, burlap and a sidewalk onto a black mass surrounding a golden source of light.
John Junior Kim recontextualizes a fresnel lens – harvested from a discarded television where it was used for its diffusive qualities – as a soft glowing cylinder on a wooden mount.
Blair Simmons archives worn-out personal technology in concrete, creating digital portraits while questioning the role that technology has in soothing and/or accentuating the chronic pains of the artist.
Fedor Deichmann paints through erasure, overlaying black paint onto a base of colorful abstract shapes, stripping back ornament to discover a minimally viable harmony.
Niles Fromm sands and scrapes the surface of painted pine to reveal color and surface texture out of a carved organic form at the human scale.
Robyn Benson engraves, multiplies, replicates and reconfigures drawn components into oak, to create endlessly new structural propositions reminiscent of the puzzles of youth.
Mai Nguyen (IAMAI) and Rift Furniture literalize the experience for one sitter in a precisely contoured carved walnut chair.