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Degrees of Freedom


10 SEPTEMBER 2022 - 22 OCTOBER 2022

PİLOT Gallery is pleased to announce Degrees of Freedom, Ali Miharbi's third solo exhibition at its gallery space, to be held between September 10 and October 22, 2022. Employing various tools and site-specific installations, Degrees of Freedom invites the audience to observe and experience the intricate potentials of the environment in which people exist, by exploring the possibility space for physical and mental acts.

The term "degrees of freedom," which is frequently used in control theory, refers to the variety of possible motions in a system. Examining freedom in the context of organisms and their environment as a system, Daniel Dennett compares people’s level of physical and intellectual freedom to the constraints on the decisions they can make. At one point, he emphasizes how vast the human mental potential is, despite the limited number of possible physical movements. Degrees of Freedom by Ali Miharbi, thus, is an exhibition of the area between these two parallel lines.

Miharbi's Transitive Verbs and Very Nice are inspired by medieval code wheels, which brought together magical thinking and the logic of probability and are now considered proto-computer systems from a modern perspective. These mechanisms which mix and match various situations were also used as divination tools. Miharbi claims, considering this historical context, that rather than foretelling the future or revealing an absolute truth as it was understood at the time, these tools, which enhanced proto-scientific thinking, can help raise awareness of the possibilities ahead and alternate routes that would otherwise go unnoticed.

The site-specific installation produced for the exhibition, Tesla Valve, intervenes with the gallery's architecture. The work imagines the visitors as fluid particles that flow, pause, and change direction. It forces the viewers to behave in ways that they would not typically desire due to the structure they find themselves in, and at some point makes them question their own "degrees of freedom".

Sea level rise, one of the greatest environmental risks and a link between the planet and humankind, is brought up in Miharbi's Waterline. Careful calculations are used to mark Pilot Gallery's wall according to the proximity of its geographical location to sea level. It is left to the viewers to imagine the scenarios that they would have to face, in the event of a calamity.

Routes on the Affect Space #2022.06.10_2 is an exemplary work about humans and machines working together to create a meaningful outcome by employing machine capabilities without sacrificing human creativity. Miharbi generated thousands of random cyclic journeys in a 3-dimensional conceptual space based on recent psycholinguistic experiments, utilizing custom software to mark waypoints at regular intervals (and the three words closest to each of those points). Various objects, such as two- or three-dimensional prints, foam crumbs , elevator weights, and herbal teas, have taken their spot in the installation as objects that are as context-free as possible, to facilitate a connection with the conceptual journey laid out in the work.

Degrees of Freedom, Ali Miharbi's third solo exhibition at PİLOT Gallery, can be seen until October 22.


Ali Miharbi