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Ádám Ulbert

The unnamed signaled: “During belief systems of planetary worry, all trajectory leads back to heliocentrism”

a lecture performance


11/07/2023 –
– 30/11

On the evening of Tuesday 11 July Ádám Ulbert hosted his residency closing event at 1646. Ádám did a lecture performance while showcasing his most recent developments on his project Pannonian Sea Perspectives.

During his residency at 1646, Ádám continued working on his project based on a painting of 20th century Hungarian painter Dezső Mokry-Mészáros, titled Life on alien planet (Devilhead) 1908 (see image below). The artist is researching the painting’s intellectual origins and its natural environment. Having space for research at The Hague’s shore thus formed the perfect situation for Ádám to draw, paint, write and carry out field studies to further develop his project.

Through fiction and writing, Ádám reflects on ‘deep time’ (or geologic time) and the origin of planet Earth through the ‘Gaia theory’ of scientist/environmentalist James Lovelock. He also writes about how late 19th and early 20th century vitalist-ecologist theories – like the ‘ontology of animation’ by Sergei Eisenstein – affected the general cultural mindset of certain artists and thinkers at the time, forming the basis of what ecological thinking is now. With that, Ádám reflects on the role of algae and seaweed in our ecosystem, and on how they are indispensable for life on Earth.

In his lecture performance at 1646, Ádám read his ‘solar-fictional’ story, introducing the visitor to a species of characters called the ‘unnamed’:

The unnamed first appeared in the year 2025. Not long after the first solar flares created the biggest magnetic storms ever in modern history.
The unnamed showed up more frequently and with more intensity from that on continuously.
Science has already found out that solar flares, that usually repeat in 11-year cycles, can multiply the number of deaths related to heart failure in the human population. Although they predicted the coming flare activity already in 2022, no one expected that in ’25 several consecutive solar flares – or solar storms – could disrupt the cosmic plasma field as well.
In all likelihood the unnamed could have infiltrated into our solar system through some gap created by the eruptions from the Sun. Since those storms and the appearance of the new intelligent creatures, all we do is to try to understand who they are and what they want. Because from the very beginning it was clear that they want something from us.

Ádám also showed his video animation and a small series of paintings that he worked on during his residency.

This residency was made possible through a collaboration with the Budapest Galéria.


About Ádám Ulbert:

Ádám Ulbert is an artist and researcher based in Budapest, Hungary. With his artistic practice, he’s mainly interested in how our contemporary ecological sensibility can work as a necessary new mentality, that draws up an enlarged concept of life and nature which stands in contrast to positivist, mechanistic and objectifying viewpoints. Beyond the logic of science that wants to name and categorize, Ádám is mainly interested in the possibilities of non-human narratives of imagination and ‘almost’ fiction. He questions whether if everything is based on and perhaps connected to biology, can non-organic beings be connected to organic bodies through some kind of elastic morphology as well? How could this biomorphic sensitivity become a mode of empathic representation that maps the human connection to other entities?

Ádám has shown his works at the Paris Internationale in Paris, Karlin Studios in Prague, and the Stedelijk Museum Bureau in Amsterdam, amongst a variety of galeries in Budapest like Longtermhandstand, ENA Viewing Space, Pince, Arkatell projectspace and Trapéz Gallery.

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