Palaver II


Palaver II


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Projection, pickle juice, moss, silver, concrete, silicone, cayenne pepper
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Palaver II is a speculative collection of surreal artifacts from a world that follows a completely different logic from our own. Inspired by the traditions of Wunderkammer or “Cabinets of Curiosities.”, Palaver II showcases objects from a world with foreign tastes, bizarre customs and unusual ecology. These strange relics and antiques create an environment intended to put the viewer in a dreamlike state of curiosity, similar to the feeling of being a child and experiencing the world for the first time. This state allows us to pull back a curtain and reveal the complex inner workings of a lush ecosystem. Viewers enter this world through a large industrial warehouse gallery. Tucked away in a hidden corner, the unassuming entrance creates a sense of crossing into another dimension.

Palaver II’s narrative centers around an abstract Darwin-like inhabitant of the space. The frantic, obsessive and meticulous nature of this character shaped the layout of the installation. Exploratory field notes, old food and unrecognizable office supplies are cluttered on the desk. Projected animations of racing thoughts and organisms cover the wall, demonstrating natural life cycles that intersect with the manufactured and mundane routine of human activity.

Our process of creation similarly followed this abstract, hurried and experimental format. We explored this world through the gestural process of sculpting in virtual reality. Creating organic forms we 3D printed many of these objects, artifacts and organisms, fabricating them out of everything from concrete to collected leaves. We created silicone molds to use a diverse set of materials, and covered some of the objects with mars-like red clay. Narrative and biological processes began to coagulate as we animated the sculpted forms digitally in virtual reality, giving them a life and motion. A diverse emergent system began to appear, interconnected organisms and artifacts finding their place in this unfamiliar constructed reality.

The word palaver refers to a conference between two groups, typically those without a shared language or culture. This concept of facing an obscure reality, one so strange and foreign that we feel unprepared to comprehend it, is central to Palaver II. There is something fascinating about the incomprehensible; it can be both wondrous and unsettling. It sticks in our minds because it cannot be explained away, and we often continue to think about it until we can make sense of it. There is a beauty in this halfway point -- when something is on the verge of comprehension -- when we can appreciate it despite its enigmatic nature.

Add. Animation: Hugo Shiboski

Fabrication: Mahnoor Euceph

Sound Design: Erik Shiboski