Fabulous Ones presents creatures inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ The Book of Imaginary Beings as well as his short story “John Wilkins’ Analytical Language” in which a catalogue divides all animals into one of 14 fantastical categories (including “#6 Fabulous ones” and “#13 Those that have just broken a flower vase”). Beings that would live in these categories are conjured by PVS (Dave Colangelo, Patricio Dávila, and Immony Mèn) and collaborators Nehal El-Hadi, Jorge de Oliveira, and Patricia Pasten who have each created a short description of their “fabulous one.” Three-dimensional digital masks based on these descriptions are displayed in a triptych of 85” QLED screens in custom-made, free-standing structures situated within a cluster of trees across from the Archives of Ontario at York University. The masks look back at the viewers, tracking them through motion-sensing cameras and AI-generated animations.
Through processes of social and technical translation, this project aims to combine, dramatize, and question concepts of description, classification, imagination, speculation, and diaspora.
Presented by Archive/Counter-Archive for Nuit Blanche 2022, Toronto, Canada.
Images courtesy of William Meijer (Archive/Counter-Archive), Henry Chan (Archive/Counter-Archive, and Andrew Savery-Whiteway (Archives of Ontario).