About the Book
ARK 3: The Workshop Scenarios, is a variable video installation, book project and single channel vilm.
This book catalogs season 3 episodes showcasing 132 video images created during 2014-2015.
The first part of the title takes its name from an obscure and short-lived children’s television series named Ark II from 1976 where a group of young scientists accompanied by a talking chimpanzee attempt to bring new hope to a post-apocalyptic world that has been ravaged by pollution and waste. Their science fiction mobile lab roams a landscape populated with feral children, feudal barons, and supernatural beings.
In ARK 3: The Workshop Scenarios, we re-imagine this mobile lab to be colorful inflatable orbs, and its occupants, as performed by the artists and willing workshop participants are evolved bodies rather than glamorous youths. Void of flesh and genetically modified to be in communion with the animal and insect worlds, these earth bound bio-nauts mine the environment around them looking for clues to their ancestral past as a way to pave a way into their possible simulated futures. In search of their search, they discover recordings of Leonard Patrick Nimoy O’Neal introducing Laser Disc & CED technologies to a broader public. They also see early clues to their semblance in the images of the iconic anatomical human, the singing educator SlimGood Body and a cinematic fly head from 1986. Scripts and sonic treatments are remixed but held together by the exploratory strand of the Ark’s original mission of bringing the rationality of the pseudo scientific method back into human consciousness. Ultimately, images of their search and research are projected in multiple ways upon the mobile spheres that compelled their travel.
At either end of the main installation, experimental documentaries are projected based upon Burn’s Wiccan mother and Martin’s gay cop father, both of whom act as spirit guides.
Torsten Zenas Burns is an artist and media arts educator living in Holyoke, MA. Since 2008 he has been curating exhibitions, video screenings, performance art and magazine projects for PARSONS HALL PROJECT SPACE in Western Massachusetts. He received his BFA in video art in 1990 from the New York State College of Art & Design at Alfred University, and his MFA in New Genres: video and performance art from The San Francisco Art Institute in 1993. He has created video, photo and installations exploring speculative content, including re-imagined educational practices, experimental space programs, afterlife relationships and post-human fictions. He collaborates with Darrin Martin and Anthony Discenza (HALFLIFERS). Burns' selected video work is distributed by Vtape, VDB, and EAI. Burns participated in residency programs including Headlands Center for the Arts, Signal Culture and LMCC World views studio program. In 2014 his video FAMILIARS screened at the Chicago Underground Film Festival.