Xenoi

@ Custom House Ice House

World Premiere

The Greek island of Syros is visited by a series of unexpected guests. Immutable forms, outside of time, aloof observants to our human condition.

The hovering shapes are regular, convex polyhedrons comprising identically sided, congruent faces. There are only five solids which meet this criteria: the tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron and icosahedron.

The mathematical beauty and symmetry of these forms has been studied for thousands of years, appearing as early as Neolithic Scotland. They are widely known as Platonic Solids after the Greek philosopher who wrote about them in his dialogue Timeaus.

The sites ‘visited’ in the video are Armeos beach, Pherecydes’ Cave, hillside yapia, Ano Syros spring, Ermoupolis, Kastri, the Apollo Theatre and Anemogennitries hilltop. Pherecydes of Syros (580-520 BC) was the author of the Pentemychos, a pre-Socratic cosmogony, and is commonly held to be the teacher of Pythagoras. Yapia is the plural of yapi, the informal Greek term for an unfinished, abandoned building, especially prevalent around Greece since the development of the economic crisis. Ermoupolis is a port town and capital of the South Aegean region. Kastri (2800-2300BC) is an early Cycladic fortified settlement, located on the North side of the island.

The video was produced as part of the Syros Sound Meetings, and in collaboration with composer Michael Pisaro. Pisaro’s composition draws from field recordings made in Syros and a particular tuning called the Pythagorean comma, named after the ancient mathematician and philosopher.

Accompanying the video is the ceramic edition SOLIDS, variants on the theme.

Open Thursday 22 to Sunday 25 September, from 11am to 6pm daily.

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Artist Deborah Stratman Country USA Year 2016 Duration 15 minutes