About the Book
The first part of the title takes its name from an obscure and short-lived children’s TV 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.
ARK 3: Crossover/Chronicles takes on multiple meanings as another live action series, Land of the Lost mixes into the under appreciated pre-historic
caverns in the center of a spectral amusement park. Distant future and distant past find themselves conflated in an unsettled present. Embedded within
the video fictions we see experimental documentaries of a Wiccan mother and gay cop father, both of whom act as spirit guides to the future explorers.
Torsten Zenas Burns is an artist and media arts educator currently based in Helsinki, Finland. 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, publications, graphic novels and installations exploring speculative content, including re-imagined educational practices, experimental space programs, eco-fictions, afterlife relationships, Humanimal stories and post-human narratives. He collaborates with Darrin Martin, Monika Czyzyk and Anthony Discenza (HALFLIFERS). Burns' selected video work + Netart is distributed by Vtape, VDB, and EAI. Burns participated in residency programs including Headlands Center for the Arts, Signal Culture, Smackmellon, Eyebeam and LMCC World views studio program.