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Jesse Fleming


Los Angeles | March 6 - April 16, 2021
Press: University of Nebraska

Five Car Garage is delighted to share Jesse Fleming’s latest body of work “NUCLEI”. This is Fleming’s first showing at Five Car having relocated to Nebraska as a Founding faculty member and as Assistant Professor of the Carson Center of Emerging Media Arts at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.  There, he also directs The Perceptual Technologies Lab (PTL) at the Carson Center; an interdisciplinary laboratory supporting emerging media art and extended reality development through the lens of mindfulness.

For his new body of work NUCLEI, Fleming presents a series of large scale cyanotype prints and a projected work; a generative particle simulation evolving based on the behavior of surrounding “crowds”.  Both works evoke huge tribal groupings of humanity gathering and connecting at a time when solitude and isolation has been enforced on all societies around the globe. Yet from the solitude, crowds continue rupturing into formations and this work reveals a precarious choice of outcome, dependent on the behavior of the crowd itself, the nuclei, for regression, reform, and perhaps reverence.

For the cyanotypes, Fleming uses hand collage to remove the spectacle of large scale gatherings, and scrubs the image of identifying symbols or advertisements while the process of hand collage, sometimes revealing tape or cut marks is revealed. The tell of manipulation points to the intention of removing the spectacle and in turn, points to a new way of seeing a mass gathering as the group itself. The prints stand as an agitator — challenging one’s affective response to groups, gatherings, and celebration.  It is perhaps a matter of trust, culture, and identity that promotes a variable reaction of agoraphobia to solidarity. The images are then scanned and enlarged to a scale that brings the viewer into a direct experience with the scene, superimposing and feeling themselves within the event, large negatives are created, and eventually exposed as cyanotypes using the inevitable unpredictability of the sun, creating a series of unique images.

In the accompanying particle simulation the activity is infinitely changing and appears held in an architecture like a stadium without walls. Here, Fleming creates an event referential of the printed crowd scenes, yet like the 1977 Eames film Powers of Ten, the division between micro and macro is replaced by a peculiar awe, a sense of echoing similarity between all scales of life; actions from crowds, like starlings swarms, to far off galaxies, or to the internal state of pulsing atoms.