Moth Soup: A Reanimation of Imagination


Fri, 21 June 2024 - Sat, 3 August 2024

Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm


Perth Creative Exchange - Stormont Street, Perth, PH1 5NW

Further info

Cost: 0.00

Type: Exhibition

An extended media installation exploring enchantments of delicious, internet feeds, the emptiness of homogenous time, and moths as creatures of thought.

Unthought. Attention Capitalism. Boredom. Ecologies of imagination.

Never before have our minds been more connected, devouring digital feeds but never fed, or getting lost in delicious beauty. Because it is beautiful. Internet connected devices are designed to capture our attention and hold it. How often do we find ourselves falling through the rabbit hole of webs only to forget what we originally went looking for, and for a quick moment to become forty, sixty and counting?

The universality of internet-connection and social media has created an excessively animated and over-exploited collective imagination (Crary 2008). The smooth Instagram aesthetic of homogenous images feeds empty time (Benjamin 1974) and a machinic- imaginary (Manovich 2011): we are hyper-active individuals within cognitive capitalism’s constraints. Ironically, this hypertrophy of collective imagination stops us from re-imagining the conditions under which our hyperactivity is being fed. With our attention constantly stimulated and opportunity for the mind to wander lacking, what thoughts are never formed by the process of thinking, not imagined, not dreamed? What if instead of bathing in the syrupy glow, we listened?

Moth Soup explores this lure through an imaginative installation of hand cranked boxes, silver plated spoons, film and animated moths.

This project is an ongoing investigation and intervention of contemporary imagination’s hyperactivity. Today, digital devices have resulted in dramatic shifts in practices of imagining. The ‘Moth Soup Series’ considers Gregory Bateson’s ecologies of mind, Jane Bennett’s material agency and Johnathon Crary’s attention as commodity to investigate temporality, metamorphosis of matter and relations to perception and imagination.

Kate Bell is a contemporary arts practitioner predominantly working with film, stop-motion animation and puppetry. Since her BA(Hons) at Gray’s School of Art in 2012, her work has explored ecologies of imagination and objects in relation to ideas of re-enchantment and the animation of matter. After completing an MFA at Duncan of Jordanstone in 2019, cultural epidemics such as mental pollution and the nature of total positivity have become the backbone to her work. Surrealism, magical realism and ideas relating to temporality and philosophies of imagination continue to infuse her practice. Selected achievements: ‘Little Malaise, Weary & the Dream Spider’ installation at SSA Annual Exhibition, 130th Anniversary Edition at Royal Scottish Academy (2022), and at Gannochy Project Space at Perth Creative Exchange (2021) and ‘Little Other & the Unform’ installation at Alchemy Film & Moving Image Festival (2020). Artist in residence at Duncan of Jordanstone, University of Dundee (2019-2020) and Impact Arts Projects Ltd (2014-2018). Selected awards: Visual Artist & Craft Makers Award, Creative Scotland Lottery Fund and Fife Contemporary (2023), and Culture Perth & Kinross (2020), Young Artist Masters Award, The Arts Society Fife (2019) and McGlashan Trust Award (2018). Graduated from DJCAD with MFA Fine Art & Humanities with Distinction (2019).

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