In Paulo Arraiano's powerhouse exhibition at Hawaii - Lisbon gallery, he takes on digital life's vast modes of escapism and channels them to depict a synthetic resurgence of natural phenomena, often translated through satellite signals. This repositioning of the environment as forms determined by data and coding illuminates the contemporary sensory experience, one of a digitally mediated existence. Nevertheless, Arraiano is effective in positioning the viewer to instinctively yearn for human interaction with our physical domain.
A flag-like object juts off the wall with a landscape scrolling to the floor in a display of technological devotion. A small cactus perches well above Arraiano's technological representations as a looming reminder of unmediated reality removed from its natural habitat. In tandem, these signifiers suggest a hierarchy of existence that engenders feelings of artificiality in digital sensory experiences. Simultaneously, though, Arraiano presents the breadth of the human will to understand the literal world as it exists around us with the most advanced tools available, particularly GPS imaging.
Equally distinctive is the formally minimal dialect Arraiano develops by thinly dispersing objects throughout the exhibition as a presentation of dematerialization in our daily happenings. The exhibition is efficient in creating signifiers that can be read quickly and are perceivable through the internet, providing recognition to the ever-increasing speed of human information consumption. Here, the functional object is primarily a means for presenting the artist's collections of information depicted behind a screen or controlled by satellites and then regurgitated to online viewers.
The result is an intellectually thrilling exposé on the landscape and its interaction with contemporary filters that limit our access to its physical presence while oversaturating us with artificial and mediated imagery of nature.
Arraiano's exhibition runs from October 21 through December 22, 2017 and is open Thursday through Saturday from 12-6pm at Hawaii - Lisbon.