#end_of_empire was an interactive, site specific large scale installation of knitted photographs with incorporated touch sensors and an AI generated musical score.
The project explored themes central to the artist, Eva Sajovic’s work: colonialism, the climate and ecological crises, the role of the artist in imagining alternative futures, and the need for collaboration with the “more-than-human”, including Artificial Intelligence (AI). By taking symbols of imperial power, commonly set in imposing stone, and translating them into soft fabrics to be interacted with, the project alludes to a future transformed.
This project was developed in collaboration with Nicola Privato, who is a composer, musician, and artist specialising in post-digital lutherie. Nicola has worked alongside Eva to design the AI artwork, embed the original sound design and the interaction concept of #end_of_empire
#end_of_empire invited people to step inside these columns, explore them with their hands, play with them as you would play with a musical instrument. They were a Pandora’s box of collected sounds, clay to play with, shells to hold to your ear.
By interacting with the knitted classical columns, you actively participated in the un-making and re-making of social, economic and political structures from the past and the present.
The work was a collection of shared visual, tactile and sonic experiences that the community from across Nelson has gathered and reflected upon. Behind the familiarity of the monumental columns, you may glimpse the labour of a community after the industrial spring, hear the ghosts of its miscarried futures and the hope in what is yet to come.
To hear more about this work, listen to Eva’s conversation with artist Christine Borland and Amber Butchart in Episode 7 of the Cloth Cultures podcast, Season 3.
#end_of_empire is a co-commission with In-Situ and British Textile Biennial with This Is Nelson Town Deal Funding
With support from University of The Arts London