Scott Lyall
DRAGONS
6 October – 22 December 2017
Campoli Presti, London

Colours explode on the scales of DRAGONS: calculated, fabricated (etched by robots), deliberately artificially hallucinated, colours. Non-negated light. These are real-time performances. They are playing on a surface even smaller than a smart phone. But DRAGONS’ scales array the farthest lining of the cosmos.

No one gets to visualize the scales of these DRAGONS. Describing their materials is perhaps a lost cause. Here, the list includes: digital images of starlight; redshift phenomena in the silt of nebulae; aluminum Nano-particles and sub-visible wavelengths; a colour-splitting algorithm; adhesives; a polymer; light on white walls (both natural and fluorescent); our brain; the ‘human cave’ we call geometry; our eyes. The largest scale of things is impressed on the smallest. Colours are ‘hallucinations of skin’ (Empedocles).

Millennia will pass before these iridescences—our signals—can alight on the lining of the cosmos. The DRAGONS will be touched by each contrasting hue. Every single instant of the real-time performance will increase the scaly surface of the universe by one. The DRAGONS coax whatever to its cosmological power. Once and only once—but once, again (Lee Smolin).

“Find your pile of gold and fall asleep on it,” they’d say. Hallucinate a History, the Beautiful, the Ancestor, the colours of Sardanapalus, the Shoemaker’s little elves. Dream about a second before the big bang happened, about a secret mother Philosopher, about a ‘smaller-element, still.

Do DRAGONS sense the colours, or the explosions? (Delacroix)

Not that this could rouse even the most ticklish DRAGON, for whom facticity, contingency, and our stories are so obvious.