PC CC CCCP
PC CC CCCP – Posters, stickers, ceramic sculptures burnt in an oven made from an old computer , a satellite dish with clocks, a short video, a collections of sketches for symbols, diagrams and signs that make a gathering space, a washing machine you can enter from the rear. These machines that are used for other things than they were designed to do – applying heat, movement, language – make for unique objects. By the powers of basic mechanics and orientation they turn from mundane electronic appliances into physical vessels for teleportation.
The poster with the Euro sign and the mango with the title “Sleeping with a Mango,” has a telling story. When Ira was an exchange student in Vienna during the winter, he bought a big hard green mango in the market. In order for it to ripe, and as he was alone in a new city, he brought the mango to – sleeping with it, his body heat, slowly made the mango more and more orange until it was ready to be eaten. A tropical fruit ripening in the nights of the snowy city – applying heat, movement and language, he was able to make this hard green lump into a delicious, sweet, juicy fruit.
PC CC CCCP is a palindrome that stands for “Personal Computer,” “Carbon Copy,” “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.” One can read it from the beginning to the end and from end to beginning and it will be the same. The personal computer; a product of Californian cybernetics implies a network of feedback loop with no outside. It is part of a network of PCs interconnected through a corporate space developed by the US military – ARPANET which we call the internet. It is a closed circuit like a palindrome, like the diagrams and sketches, like a rotating washing machine that can be penetrated from the back. It is a system of algorithms and password, calculating patterns that to its mind any human activity predictable. The carbon copy; an age old technique for mechanic reproduction. Tracing documents and signatures, the symbol of bureaucratic aesthetics. Sign here, here and here. The pen is tied to the counter. ‘Some rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen’ Woody Guthrie sang. The bank can take your money but you are not allowed to keep the pen with which you are robbed. The Xerox machine, the fax, the Tipp-Ex – all continue the logic of the carbon copy. Even the internet has the cc for outgoing group email. The cc you are sent is somewhere between a personal message and spam. Like the transmissions of the satellite dish, or the international standard time, like stickers and posters. The Union of Socialist Soviet Republics is a state that had no territory (there is no Russia in USSR). It could have been anywhere – also in outer space. The sputnik is exactly that machine that applied heat, movement, language – rotating around the Earth sending its transmissions from out of the atmosphere. This might be the epitome for all physical vessels for teleportation. Making way for Laika, the Soviet space dog – the first animal to leave the atmosphere. All humans coming after her – in the mission to the moon, in the international space station, in the future mission to Mars, are all following her. In this universe that has no smell, although she was a mongrel, being a dog Laika was a bloodhound for the new scentless frontiers. Like a computer that is an oven. But the Soviet Union is also the opposite of all this – it is the negation of this world in which we live where exploitation is normalized and celebrated. CCCP already has in it the reading backwards of any text we might write today – the reverse launch of the combination of letters. By this logic, in order to save these different machines, Ira and Nicolas have to apply basic mechanics to alter their use from what they were designed to do – PCCC CC CP.
Joshua Simon is director and chief curator of MOBY – Museum of Bat Yam. He is a research fellow at the Vera list Center for Art and Politics at the New School, New York. In 2013, he published the book Neomaterialism by Sternberg Press