In an increasingly turbulent world, two Israeli artists, Rotem Tamir and Omri Zin, are targeting industrial factory processes in the crosshairs of their work. The husband and wife are collaborating for the first time in Larval Acceleration at Locust Projects.
The piece encompasses two independent factories, each managed and operated by the respective artists. Tamir’s factory produces helium-filled balloons, in various shapes and colors, that rise to the ceiling before falling to the floor over a 24-hour period; Zin’s factory renders an industrial byproduct made primarily from lard (pig fat) that is pressed on the floor and gradually builds up, hampering the function of his factory.
Left-wing perspective aside, Larval Acceleration is an active dialog between two disparate practices coming together for the first time before the viewer's eye. It’s both a testament to a personal and artistic relationship between the artists and a comment on the positive relations between man and machine.
“It’s funny that our first collaboration came only after we had a baby together,” Tamir said the day before the show’s opening.
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“You always hear about one artist in a couple having to stop working to support the other’s work or manage a family... This was a way to support both our work,” Zin added.
The couple’s uncompromising attitude toward their practice goes way back. Zin and Tamir met as undergraduate art students at Bezalel Academy for Art and Design in Jerusalem. The couple moved to the States to pursue MFAs at Virginia Commonwealth University, where they both earned degrees in sculpture and extended media. They then moved to Florida as adjunct professors at the University of Florida in Gainesville before Tamir was offered a position as a visiting assistant professor at Florida State University in Tallahassee, where they both now live and work.
The piece takes its ideological bent from the work of philosopher Levi R. Bryant, who thought to expound on the relationships between man and machine. Bryant believes that machines pick up where the human body leaves off, aiding in its functionality. Zin and Tamir share Bryant’s practical view of human-machine relations, a fairly atypical characterization and one that is often marked by a deep dystopian sensibility.
On view through April 15 at Locust Projects, 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-576-8570; locustprojects.org. Admission is free.