Born in 1984 in Istanbul, Kerem Ozan Bayraktar completed his Master’s degree and Proficiency in Arts at Marmara University Fine Arts Institute. Bayraktar’s work centers on establishing physical and conceptual environments. Using digital visualizations, photographs, animations, models, everyday objects, texts and graphics, the artist focuses on the behavior of natural and artificial systems, their occlusion points, boundaries, collapses, mutations, and how we make sense of them. Bayraktar teaches courses on digital images, art theory, photography and printmaking techniques at various institutions, writes about art and makes presentations for various platforms.
Spirits on the Ground
Spirits on the Ground is a site-specific installation featuring mechanical toys, garbage bags, LED lights, videos, batteries, nylons, dead plants, water, soil, and rust.
Petrol—the formative material of all the toys, of the nylon covering the ground and the objects on it, and of the garbage bags—basically originates from the fossilization of dead organisms. Similarly, the production of batteries involves essential elements of life such as carbon, zinc, and potassium.
Focusing on the geochemical origins of objects, the work summons the remnants of life in the material composition of toys that move aimlessly. Rather than in distinctive subjects (humans, advanced artificial intelligence robots, etc.) it searches for the topic of life and consciousness in different areas of denseness scattered in nature.
Mechanical toys that are torn apart, with rusty batteries or scraped sides, cell-garbage bags that collect them, plastic that forms both the environment and the object, water-activated toy dinosaur eggs, videos of koi fish swimming on a nylon lake, plastic fruits that have released their paint into the water, are all reminiscent of an ecosystem that failed or that has never existed.
With the islets that are created from agglomerations with no aesthetic hierarchy between images and objects, and the layers containing every stage of production, the work resembles an under-the-counter workshop, a shooting studio, a dysfunctional greenhouse or warehouse; it creates a hybrid atmosphere by also including the background of image production techniques in the work.