About Tropical Futures
Tropical Futures Institute (TFI) is a multidisciplinary think-tank studio founded and operated by Chris Fussner which explores the tropics through a variety of mediums. TFI was founded in 2015 as an experiment in contemporary culture and is currently located in Cebu, Philippines.
TFI produces everything between art exhibitions, residencies, zinefests, loud parties, community shows, workshops, and talks, blending across different disciplines and communities to create a diverse cultural programming.
TFI works with collaborators in New York, Cebu, Bacolod, Manila, Bali, and Singapore.
Curator: Chris Fussner
Chris Fussner is a Filipino American designer based primarily in Cebu, Philippines and the tropics at large. His focus is on looking towards new ideas, models, practice and communication related to the tropics. Crafting and supporting the diffusion of new narratives around this climatic and geographic space that wraps around the world and connects various ecologies and peoples. Chris graduated from the School of Design Strategies at Parsons School of Design.
Live from the MicroWorld
29 min 34 sec
Thoughts on Morakana’s "Live from the Micro World" in the show Negentropic Fields.
Live from the Microworld is an interspecies and networked performance by Morakana, an artist duo based in Brooklyn, New York, composed of Tiri Kananuruk and Sebastián Morales.
This performance reveals the connections between species, technology, and the planet. Highlighting both the scalar connections between different system components in the performance and describing the network connections between the actors of the performance itself. (Microbes, humans, microscope, video feed, computer, image recognition, synthesizers, microphones, music programs, streaming programs, internet, fiber, last mile, 4G/LTE.) The stack of technologies involved in generating this performance can be unpacked in many different ways; however, the current time signals towards the relationship between this performance and the current global pandemic.
The negotiation of those spaces exists in both the motion tracking of the microbes and our hands' sanitizing. The music generated by Morakana and the microbes paints a stark and futuristic contrast against the backdrop of the existential global biosecurity risk that is no longer existential; 2020 is the movie Contagion. We live in a world of bubbles now; vaccinations and immune systems determine how freely we move. People from the red zone live differently from people in the green zones as mental fatigue from the constant decision making and subconscious risk calculations wear us down day by day. While we are all heading towards some sort of chickenized work routine in our own homes.
The subspecies '2019-nCoV' disrupted our current simulation of the world, the plantation, call center, central business district, server farm, animal farm, and farm farm. Glitching the velocity of our current acceleration of the world at hand, speeding up some instances and bringing others to a halt. The chaos over the last few months raises the question of "what exists in the jungle beyond the plantation?"
The microbes that came from different water sources in New York in "Live from the Microworld" are filmed under the microscope. The recording of the microbes is fed into a computer. The microbes' movements are rendered, tracked, and connected to a voice modulator and synthesizer controlled by Morakana. The video and sound are fed back into the stream that gets shot out over fiber internet through data streams and onto our own screens. The systems that compromise the performance take us through different scales of the environment upon which species also interact on each level. Environmental, microbial, human, local, regional, national, planetary, and extra-planetary.
"Live from the Microworld", Morakana and the microbes invite us to look beyond the plantation and into the jungle. From the structured monoculture of late capitalism and into a complex, chaotic ecosystem that holds equilibrium. Breaking our vision free of the preferential scale, it always chooses to see ourselves at; as islands when we are not isolated. The objects, species, and environments we interact with always place us within a systemic chain. Just as we are no longer just humans but (human + smartphone + ________). An ever-increasing myriad of connections that lead us back to earth. The answers of the future are already among us; they just are distributed yet.
MORAKANA is the collective practice of Tiri Kananuruk and Sebastian Morales; together, we are artists, performers, and engineers with a research and experimentation based practice.
Tiri Kananuruk is a performance and new media artist. She holds a BA in Exhibition Design from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, and a Master in Interactive Telecommunications from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Her work explores the manipulation of sound in the context of technological consumerism, examining human relationships through the use of transmitted signals, natural language processing, and bodily movement. xxx.tiri.xxx
Sebastián Morales is a Mexican artist, engineer, and researcher based in NYC. His work delves into technology as a means to question the boundaries of living systems, robotics, and digital culture. Sebastián received a BS. in Mechanical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and MPS in Interactive Telecommunications from New York University.
Meeting with curator Chris Fussner and artist collective Morakana (Philippines – Tropical Futures). Developing work for Live Online Performance, part I – with a livestream microscopic visualisation of the water microbes with algorithmic sonic generator as a live art. Presented online Saturday, 9 January 2021, 5pm SGT hosted on INTER–MISSION Youtube platform.
Tropical Futures December 2020
Meeting with curator Chris Fussner and selected artist collective Morakana (Philippines – Tropical Futures). Developing of work from realtime visualisation of microscopic streaming of water microbes with an algorthmic sonic generator for an audiovisual work and playback video projection.
Tropical Futures October 2020